Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography: 'David Beckham thought he was bigger than me' and manager blames Victoria's influence for their falling out
Manager accused winger of taking his 'eye off the ball'
Sir Alex Ferguson is damning in his verdict of David Beckham, accusing the former England captain of giving up the chance of a being a top-level footballer and, in his last few years at Manchester United, openly disobeying his manager.
Over an 11-page chapter in Ferguson’s autobiography dedicated to Beckham, Ferguson accuses his former player of thinking “he was bigger than Sir Alex Ferguson”. He writes: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s Alex Ferguson or Pete the Plumber. The name of the manager is irrelevant. The authority is what counts ... that was the death knell for him.”
Later, in his press conference, when asked about the influences that changed Beckham, Ferguson said: “The big problem for me ... he fell in love with Victoria and that changed everything."
In the book, Ferguson recalls one episode when he turned up at the club’s Carrington training ground to encounter a large group of photographers outside. When he asks his staff what they are there for he is told that there is a rumour that Beckham has a new haircut. Following that, he said Beckham refused to remove a hat he was wearing at a team dinner, despite his manager insisting on it.
The following day as the players went out to warm-up for a game away to Leicester City, Ferguson said that he discovered Beckham was preparing to go out with the beanie hat still on his head. He insisted that Beckham removed it – the player had shaved his head – and said that the player “went berserk”.
Ferguson writes: “The plan was that he would keep the beanie hat on and take it off just before kick-off. At that time I was starting to despair of him. I could see him being swallowed up by the media or publicity agents.”
What might be most difficult for Beckham to accept will be Ferguson’s overall assessment that he “lost the chance to become an absolute top-dog player.” He writes: “after the change [in Beckham] he never attained the level where you would say: that is an absolute top player.”
Later he adds, “His [Beckham’s] eye was off the ball. A shame because he could still have been at Manchester United when I left. He would have been one of the greatest Man United legends.”
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Eden Hazard exclusive interview - All is rosy in the garden of Eden
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
It's time to stop the 'small club' jibes after Chelsea signed £200m Yokohama deal
Robbie Savage avoids driving ban - because he would get 'accosted' too much if he had to use public transport
Liverpool vs Manchester City: Brendan Rodgers and his fading Liverpool may have reached breaking point
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East