The iconic Manchester United manager had words of praise for old foe Arsene Wenger, claiming he admires the Frenchman for not being to the will of his critics.
One of the most intense rivalries the Premier League has seen between managers over the past two decades has been the one between Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson. A rivalry that lasted more than 15 years between arguably the most successful managers in the Premier League resulted in Manchester United and Arsenal dominating the league for close to a decade.
The rivalries between the managers became so intense that it also spilled over to the players. Over the years, the intensity of the Manchester United-Arsenal rivalry has considerably reduced, which has happened due to a couple of reasons: firstly, Arsenal have been unable to mount a serious title challenge for some years now and secondly, Sir Alex Ferguson is no longer the Red Devils’ coach.
The mutual admiration has increased since Ferguson’s retirement. The Scotsman has constantly praised Wenger for holding his own during tough times and not letting general opinion and critics sway him from what he believes in as his footballing philosophy.
“He’s [Wenger] been fantastic,” Ferguson said, according to ESPN FC.
“Now he gets a lot of criticism, but I admire that that you’re not going to bend to the will of the critics. He stays with what he believes in. And I think people who do that are outstanding coaches.”
As one bitter rivalry ended, another took shape
The man who is set to take the reins at Manchester United next season, Jose Mourinho, does not share the most pleasant relationship with Arsene Wenger. To say they don’t see eye to eye would be putting it mildly. Over the years, Mourinho has trumped Wenger on almost every occasion and has not missed an opportunity to take sly shots at him in the media.
This rivalry between Wenger and Mourinho is likely to continue next season and should add spice to a fixture that has lost plenty of it since the days of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira. It will be really interesting to see how Mourinho, with his new club in the Premier League and the weight of the expectations at Manchester United, tries to continue his domination over a Wenger-led Arsenal.