In an updated version of his autobiography, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he shouldn't receive blame for the team's decline under David Moyes.
In My Autobiography's new version, which will be released Thursday, Ferguson refuted common criticisms for his role in United's struggles last season, saying he didn't leave behind an aging, unproductive roster and he wasn't solely responsible for the decision to hire Moyes, according to The Guardian.
Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season after 27 years as United's manager and insists in his book that a "quiet, thorough, professional" process was used to determine his successor.
Moyes, who came to the job after 11 seasons as Everton's manager, was fired after just 10 months as United eventually finished seventh in the Premier League. It was the club's worst league performance since finishing 13th in 1989-90 and meant it missed qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96.
Ferguson blames Moyes's poor performance on him not being ready for the "massive jump" from Everton to United and for employing a slower style than United was used to.
“The reason for playing at speed was that United players had been accustomed to operating that way,” Ferguson writes. “If the tempo slowed for any reason, I would be into them at half-time. ‘This is not us,’ I would say. Playing with speed never hindered our results. It was our way: energy and determination in the last third of the pitch.”
Ferguson also said he wasn't involved in the decision to fire Moyes and his staff, which cost United around $8 million. Longtime United player Rio Ferdinand also criticized Moyes in a recent autobiography, calling the manager's tactics "embarrassing."
United spent $238 million on new players after last season, including a record $95 million signing of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria. Ferguson said last week the club needed the "big injection" signings.
Moyes said last week that he's ready to resume his managing career. He was replaced at United by former Netherlands national team manager Louis van Gaal, who Ferguson has complimented in the past.
United is currently sixth in the Premier League with 12 points in eight games.
- Ben Estes