Sir Alex Ferguson has paid homage to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger by lauding the Frenchman’s pioneering approach to the modern game and his uncanny capability of calibrating a squad worthy of snatching the Premier League title from under Manchester United’s nose, most notably at the turn of the millennium.
Wenger’s 22 year reign at the Gunners’ helm is set to come to an end at the end of the season and the enigmatic 68-year-old has won virtually every accolade on offer at the north-Londoners, an illustrious managerial career which indisputably proves that if a philosophy works, there’s no need to chop and change personnel and tinker with a club’s blueprints.
Horns were always locked when Wenger met his Scottish adversary in the technical area, and though countless spats and skirmishes erupted between the two, Ferguson ultimately has nothing but the greatest of respects for ‘Le Prof’, and even admitted to commandeering a few ingenious regimes from his old foe.
Writing in United’s matchday programme – via Sports Mole – prior to Sunday afternoon’s Premier League clash between the Red Devils and Arsenal, Ferguson unreservedly revealed:
“When Arsene came to Arsenal, he changed a lot of the eating habits and fitness regimes at the club. He was ahead of the game at that particular time. We took examples, as we always tried to take examples from anybody who was improving,” Ferguson wrote in the United programme prior to this afternoon’s Premier League clash between the two sides.
“It was like when you’re driving along the road: you have to be aware of somebody coming up in your wing mirror, trying to overtake you. That was the case with us and Arsenal for quite a few years.
“Virtually every game we played against Arsenal, there was a real edge to the match. There were confrontations, because there were two teams and two managers battling for one award: the Premier League. In my time, we had a few arguments but I always did really respect the man because he did a fantastic job at his club.”
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