Book Review: #2Sides: Rio Ferdinand – My Autobiography

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Love him or loathe him Rio Ferdinand is one of football’s biggest characters and outspoken players.

Without a doubt one of the most accomplished defenders England has ever produced, the former Manchester United, Leeds and West Ham star lives up to expectation with his life story #2Sides.

So whether you’re a big fan of Rio’s football, or his “you got merked” catchphrase sends shivers down your spine, Ladbrokes News’ James Curtis gives you the lowdown on his book and whether or not it’s worth a read.

In a nutshell

The former Manchester United and England captain tells his life story. From playing against older lads on the Peckham Estate where he was raised to his triumphs and disappointments with West Ham, Leeds, United and the international team, plus we get the lowdown on what makes the QPR defender tick.

What the publishers say

Candid, outspoken and supremely honest. #2Sides is the tell-all account of a unique life in the game. On winning and losing: on defending and attacking: on managers and fellow players: on friendships and rivalries … this is a full spectrum of life at the very top of the footballing tree and a superb retrospective of a truly fascinating career.

What we say

The publishers aren’t wrong about this being a frank and honest read.  Author David Winner has clearly included some verbatim quotes from Ferdinand and the centre-back’s distinctive voice runs through each and every part of the narrative.

Rio comes across as a fair man and while highlighting a number of irritants and deficiencies recognised in teammates, opponents, coaches and friends he is also reflective and self aware enough to realise when he has made mistakes too.

You get the impression that Ferdinand has used these lessons to further his playing career and improve his life in general.

3 things we learned from #2Sides

Glen Hoddle should have stayed as England manager

Rio firmly believes that England have been treading water ever since Glen Hoddle was sacked from the manager’s role.

Ferdinand describes his sacking as a “tragedy” for the English game and says he would have become a much better player had Hoddle not been ousted in 1999.

Other tales from the Three Lions camp include how Ferdinand was “in awe of David Beckham” while he also labels Fabio Capello a “huge disappointment”.

David Moyes was out of his depth

Ferdinand praises Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor for his hands-on approach, saying the younger Scot was far more of a presence on the training pitch than his predecessor.

However, Rio claims Moyes instantly changed the mentality of the club from having to win every game to avoiding defeat and says he was never clear on his instructions with players left confused after team meetings as to what he wanted them to do.

The Jagielka DVD claims are false

A popular urban myth goes that Nemanja Vidic decided his Old Trafford career was over after Moyes asked both him and Ferdinand to study DVDs of Everton’s Phil Jagielka in order to improve.

The book confirms that this was never the case!

Who’s the book for?

Die hard Arsenal and Liverpool fans might avoid picking up a copy but anyone else with more than a passing interest in football will find this an entertaining read. Few football biographies – Roy Keane’s excluded – discuss the game in such honest and candid fashion.

To get your own copy of #2Sides Click Here

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.