Sir Alex Ferguson is the most controversial and compelling figure in football. For many he ranks as the greatest manager of all time. He is certainly the most successful.
It's been more than ten years since Ferguson's Manchester United triumphed over Bayern Munich in the dying seconds of the Champions League final. Since then he has presided over the rise and fall and rise again of José Mourinho; the arrival and departure of the world's best player, Ronaldo; the removal of one English talisman - Beckham - and the irresistible instalment of another - Rooney. Ferguson has been instrumental in making the Premier League the most successful competition in football, and he has endured while the mountains of cash have turned to valleys of debt.
Throughout, award-winning journalist Patrick Barclay has been pitch-side and spoken to all those who know Ferguson best - fellow managers, former players, colleagues and commentators. The result is Football - Bloody Hell!: the definitive work on the game's greatest living legend.
Alan experienced the highs of the game at the top level with Swansea during their meteoric rise through all four divisions to reach the top flight, but this success came after he'd experienced the low of the Swans having to apply for re-election to the Football League in 1975.
In this eventful autobiography, Alan recounts the topsy-turvy turns his career has taken, including a disappointing spell at Leeds United in 1979-80. He was the club's most expensive signing ever at the time, but a nasty clash with Peter Shilton left him sidelined for nine months. Determined to prove his critics wrong and overcome his injury, he played some of the best football of his career upon returning to Swansea, before moving to Southampton in 1983 to help the club challenge the Merseyside dominance of the time.
Since his playing career wound down in 1987, Alan has remained in the game as a coach with both Swansea City and Wales, giving back to the game the wisdom and experience he garnered during his years as a player. In Curt, Alan reflects upon his colourful career, highlights just how much the beautiful game has changed since his playing days and explains why he's living proof that nice guys don't always finish second.
With introductions from the 606 team for each topic, plus a foreword by Robbie Savage, The League Doesn’t Lie is the ultimate book of football trivia and opinion for Sunday League players and armchair referees alike.
After weathering that storm, the new league was threatened again by the very real possibility of financial meltdown, which was averted only by the controversial takeover of many top clubs by predatory overseas owners.
Joe Lovejoy reported on the creation of the Premier League for The Independent and revisits the story in Glory, Goals and Greed, interviewing many of the 'founding fathers'. Later, as chief football correspondent at the Sunday Times, he witnessed all the main events and has spoken again to those involved to shed new light on the best matches, best players and standout incidents of the Premier League's enthralling first 20 years.
His unkempt and unshaven appearance made him the most unlikely of footballers but his artistry and vision made him the creative on-the-field force behind a Forest side that swept all before them.
After retiring from playing, Robertson went on to strike up a wonderfully successful managerial partnership with Martin O'Neill at Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa. Yet, amid his years of football fame, Robertson has known moments of deep personal tragedy, with the death of his daughter, who had cerebral palsy, at the age of 13 and the loss of his elder brother in a car crash.
In John Robertson: Super Tramp, the footballing legend reveals all in a humorous and touching memoir that switches engagingly between footballing glory and personal heartache.
Sir Alex Ferguson's best-selling autobiography has now been updated to offer reflections on events at Manchester United since his retirement as well as his teachings at the Harvard Business School, a night at the Oscars and a boat tour round the Hebrides, where he passed unrecognised.
The extra material adds fresh insights and detail on his final years as United's manager.
Both the psychology of management and the detail of football strategy at the top level can be complex matters but no-one has explained them in a more interesting and accessible way for the general reader than Sir Alex does here.
MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY is revealing, endlessly entertaining and above all inspirational.
Whilst most Football Manager players feel they possess innate tactical awareness, on point man-management skills and a gift for dealing with the media; even the most hardened fan would have to admit there’s much to be learned from those who ply their trade in the real world.
If you want to make an immediate impact on your struggling hometown club, you need to refer back to Sir Bobby Robson. If you want to lay down the law with your young players, you need to take tips from Sir Alex Ferguson. Want to avoid a financial catastrophe? Then learn from Leeds United!
So if, at any point in your life, you have imagined yourself in a tracksuit, waving your arms in the air on the touchline, with your perfect XI scribbled on the back of a beer mat and thinking ahead to the press conference, then this book is for you.
After all, you’re already a football manager... you just haven’t been appointed yet.
Of course, being talkSPORT, nothing is straightforward and the opinions are hotly debated. Some surprising names make into the list, while others are relegated to the bottom or even fail to appear at all. Who comes out on top: Gianfranco Zola or Alan Shearer? How do you decide who's in and who's out from 20 years of footballing genius?
Each of the stars is fully profiled, with surprising and fascinating information revealed about all of them, and their individual ranking in the list is fully justified. In short, this book will not only provide great football memories of moments that won leagues, spared clubs from relegation, and drew stunned silence from watching crowds, but cause much controversy - just like talkSPORT itself.
In A Man Walks On To a Pitch, Harry shares a lifetime’s experience of obsessing over football, during which he has seen it all first hand – the good, the bad and the unbelievable. Harry started in an age where players were ordinary blokes who might live on the same street as you and earn a similar wage. Now he manages in an era of player power, multi-million pound wages and teams assembled from around the globe.
As he shares stories of some of the legends and journeymen he played, coached, argued and drank with, Harry picks a team for each decade from the 1950s to the present. He gets to the heart of what was right and wrong with each era and explores the changes in the game from lifestyle to tactics. He weaves his choices together with unforgettable tales from the training pitches, boot rooms and card schools.
There are tales of the untutored genius of Duncan Edwards and Tom Finney, legendary tough Scots like Bobby Collins, Dave Mackay and Billy Bremner, the world-beaters of 1966, unpredictable one-off wizards from Sir Stanley Matthews to Matt Le Tissier, natural-born goalscorers from Greaves to Dalglish and the greatest foreign players to grace our game from Trautmann to Bergkamp. It is one of the best informal histories of the British game you’ll ever read.