All of that noise, all of that kerfuffle and as the dust clears it becomes apparent that Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography was rather tamer than anyone anticipated.
Oh, there were casualties, most notably Roy Keane and Rafa Benitez, but Wayne Rooney and the Manchester United team have been spared. It was probably foolish of us to expect anything different. A serving director was never going to unsettle his own team and he certainly wasn’t going to be silly enough to open up that whole Rock of Gibraltar thing again.
Perhaps, like a large nightcap when you’ve already drunk a full set of pyjamas, the idea of another Ferguson autobiography was better than the reality. It is, by all accounts, a good read and particularly strong on the art of motivating 21st century footballers, but it wasn’t quite the bloodbath that people anticipated.
So, to whom do we look for carnage now? Whose autobiography will be the next to send journalists scuttling to reading rooms in tag-teams? Here are three ideas to start with:
Arsene Wenger: How did the most notorious Arsenal dressing room of recent times cope with strict dietry advice and caffeine pills? Whose idea was it to hide the cheque book in 2005? Who was the man with the pizza on the grassy knoll?
Now that Ferguson has slipped into retirement, Wenger is the Premier League’s village elder. He’s intelligent and forthright and he’s one year away from a free bus pass. When he goes out, he can go all guns blazing and no-one will have the firepower to respond.
No matter what he tells you, he did see it. He saw everything. And when he’s ready to spill the beans, it’ll be worth waiting for.
Andre Villas-Boas: Who dares imagine the wrath of the man the senior Chelsea players are believed to have referred to as, ‘DVD’? Villas-Boas is a spiky micro-manager with a background in analysis. These people are to be feared.
You can guarantee that he’s kept detailed notes of of every row he’s ever had. Bad news for Frank Lampard and John Terry. Good news for the rest of us. But most importantly, Villas-Boas’ book might be able to shed some light on the real cause of the fallout with Jose Mourinho.
Because I don’t care how many times they say it was caused by the younger man’s desire to become a manager in his own right, I’m not buying it. Something happened there. Something terrible...
Roy Hodgson: Who would suspect Uncle Roy of anything nefarious? Well, aside from at least one member of the England dressing room anyway. But in the last five years, Roy has been at the centre of some of the biggest stories in English football.
The John Terry - Rio Ferdinand split, the fall of Tom Hicks and George Gillett and the strange notion that what Liverpool really needed was Christian Poulsen.
He’s a company man, a Football Association suit, and we all know how suits talk when the doors are closed and the brandy is passed around. He knows things. And one day he’s going to tell us things. He can’t help himself.
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