Fergie's Book Casts a Shadow but There's Much for David Moyes to Admire in It

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentOctober 22, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Sir Alex Ferguson poses during a press conference ahead of the publication of his autobiography at the Institute of Directors on October 22, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

David Moyes joked on Tuesday that he didn't have time to read Sir Alex Ferguson's book.

The new Manchester United manager was talking to the press, ahead of his next Champions League test against Real Sociedad, while the old one was preparing to do the same at the launch of his autobiography.

It won't have been lost on most fans that Moyes was talking about his two previous Champions League group games against Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk while Fergie was chatting about his two Champions League wins.

It just goes to show how big a job Moyes has taken on.

But if anything close to a United manager manual exists, Ferguson has just published it.

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He talks about dealing with some of football's biggest talents. And some of its biggest personalities.

He talks about the pressures of the job, and ways of escaping them—his interest in horse racing and reading about the American Civil War to name two.

He discusses how he dealt with the media and putting on his 'Fergie face' for the press. 

But if there's a running theme it's power.

You can sense it when he talks about Roy Keane, telling assistant Carlos Queiroz his captain "had to go" after the infamous MUTV interview that never aired.

It's there again when he talks about David Beckham, deciding to sell him when he believed the England captain thought he was bigger than the manager.

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Ruud van Nistelrooy was packed off in the same direction after challenging Ferguson during the League Cup final with Wigan in 2006.

Roberto Mancini, said Ferguson, lost some of his control at Manchester City after allowing Carlos Tevez to return to the club after going AWOL in Argentina.

Moyes could do with building that kind of fearsome reputation at Old Trafford as well.

Ferguson has cast a huge shadow over Moyes in the opening months of his reign. His book has only heightened that.

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It spoke volumes that United brought forward Moyes' press conference on Tuesday to avoid the fall-out from what was happening in London.

But in fairness to Ferguson—timing aside—he tried to make life for Moyes as easy as possible by treading a careful path through the minefield of the Wayne Rooney saga.

And as much as Moyes needed Ferguson to release a book like a hole in the head, there is much for the new man to admire in it.

His drive and passion are evident in every anecdote. The 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles, it reveals, are simply a by-product.

It's something Moyes will have to match if he hopes to be even half as successful as the man he has replaced.