13.12.2021 - Football biographies are always popular, with fans desperate for some insight into what makes their favourite players and managers tick. Some One of the great quirks of football is that even while watching highly skilled and extremely well-paid professionals, many fans believe they could do an equal or better job. “Armchair managers” are extremely common, telling anyone who’ll listen what they would do if they were in charge.
This delusion has been great for many industries, with a vast selection of football management simulation games profiting from it, and the number of fantasy football players constantly increasing. While most of us use our fantasy football obsession to live out our dreams of being the next Sir Alf Ramsay, these managers lived the dream for real, and luckily for us they’ve written autobiographies to give us an insight into just what it takes to manage at the highest level. Here are some of the best autobiographies written by elite football managers.
Arsene Wenger — My Life in Red and White
Throughout his time at Arsenal, it always felt like Arsene Wenger was born to manage the club. Even his name, with its similarity to Arsenal, made it appear that way, but this was a perfect example of a club and manager’s values being perfectly aligned. His autobiography illustrates this perfectly as he shares what it was like to lead Arsenal to multiple league title, including the 2003/2004 “Invincibles” season which was part of his teams 49 game unbeaten run, a record in English football.
He also delves into how he implemented his famous front foot approach at a team known as “boring boring Arsenal” when he arrived. After initial confusion about his appointment, which had many in the English media asking “Arsene who?”, he quickly became popular with the club’s fans due to his attacking, entertaining football with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires getting fans off their seats at Highbury. This is a must-read for all football fans, as well as Gunners supporters, who will enjoy relieving the most successful period in the club’s history.
Sir Alex Ferguson — My Autobiography
The most successful manager in club football history retired in 2013, releasing his second autobiography shortly after. Sir Alex Ferguson’s story of 13 Premier League titles, five FA cups and two UEFA Champions Leagues is well documented, but he goes into unprecedented detail on the managerial techniques which brought him such success. While he is most known for his time at Manchester United, he also shares his experiences from his time managing St Mirren and Aberdeen, where he also won three league championships, four Scottish cups and a European Cup Winners Cup.
Ferguson also shares anecdotes from some of his most controversial moments, such as kicking a boot at David Beckham, and his numerous clashes with fellow managers like Arsene Wenger, Kevin Keegan and Rafa Benitez. Although it could be argued that there isn’t much in terms of new stories in this autobiography, the in-depth insight and greater emphasis on he’s thoughts and feelings during his biggest moments make it essential reading for fans of all clubs.
Harry Redknapp – Always Managing
While he may not have achieved the same levels of success as the previous two managers mentioned, Harry Redknapp is one of English football’s most iconic managers. After a long playing career spent at West Ham and Bournemouth in England, as well as Seattle Sounders and Phoenix Fire in the United States, he began on of football’s most intriguing managerial careers. After starting out at Bournemouth, he went on to manage West Ham, Portsmouth (twice), Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur (preHarry Kane) and Queens Park Rangers, and has plenty of entertaining stories from each of these clubs, which he shares in the book. He also shares his feelings from some of the most impactful moments from his personal life such as the death of Bobby Moore, his tax evasion court case and his relationship with his son, making this an emotive read.