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Sven Goran Eriksson has penned a column in the Mail on Sunday, and the focus of his piece is a certain Sir Alex Ferguson.
So yes, you’ve worked it out; Ferguson and that book are back in the news.
Eriksson goes into detail on a couple of subjects. One being the Scot’s famed temper, and the second being how he nearly succeeded Ferguson as Manchester United manager.
Eriksson, during his time as England's boss, reveals how he regularly fielded calls from Ferguson with regard to the selection of United players for Three Lions games.
In his piece, Eriksson wrote:
He caused a fuss before practically every friendly we played with England. Friendlies were completely useless, he thought. Players only got hurt.
Sometimes Ferguson would call at seven o’clock in the morning, ordering me not to select one of his players for a friendly. The player was injured or else he needed to rest, Ferguson claimed.
I was not going to let Ferguson bully me. If I wanted a Manchester United player in my squad, I was going to select him.
Eriksson was England manager from 2001 to 2006, but he came close to leaving that role and taking charge of United.
Taking up the story, Eriksson wrote:
Ferguson had announced that the 2001/02 season would be his last.
One day I got a phone call from Pini Zahavi, a leading football agent. He wanted to know if I could come for breakfast at a club in London the following morning. He did not want to say on the phone what it was about. It was very secretive. ‘Sure,’ I said, ‘no problem.’
When I arrived, Pini was there with Peter Kenyon, the chief executive of Manchester United. Straight off the bat, Kenyon asked me did I want the job as manager of Manchester United as of next season? I didn’t think about it.
A contract was signed—I was United’s new manager. A couple of weeks passed and Pini called again. He wanted another meeting. When I got there, I knew something was wrong. Kenyon explained that Ferguson had changed his mind.
But to this day, Pini has the signed contract where it says I was Manchester United’s new manager.