Steve Bruce’s Autobiography will enthrall fans of both Manchester United and English football generally with its absorbing assessment of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at United, and with its insightful portraits of United greats from Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside and Denis Irwin, to Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Paul Ince and Roy Keane, to Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham.
Bruce was already a seasoned centre-half when Ferguson signed him for United in 1987. He spent nine seasons in Manchester in a period that sparked the club’s dominance of English football, and he has a great many fascinating things to say about that phase of his career.
Forming the bed-rock of the United chapters are insights and stories galore that speak to the character, training methods and man-management techniques of Ferguson and the culture of success he created within the football club, giving United fans an unparalleled assessment of life at Old Trafford at that time.
Of course, Bruce is now a manager with eight clubs, and well over 800 matches, to his name. In his later chapters he provides an intriguing assessment of the changing face of football management. He discuss topics such as scouting, training methods and facilities, salaries and contracts, transfers and the transfer window, playing styles, the football media, fans’ expectations, incessant pressure, the threat of relegation, the influx of foreign players, player power, agents, boardroom politics, and the England team.
It all adds up to a thoughtful and stimulating football book.