The Real Footie Analyst

Sir Alex Ferguson vs. Arsène Wenger

Over the last decade or so Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have publicly berated each other, and it’s almost become a side-show for the United fans with some even going as far as chanting obscenities about Wenger which i can’t mention here. To an extent Fergie has come out to protect his old foe by asking these fans not to do so. But, for two of the longest serving managers in the English top flight there has been no love lost between them, and long may it continue!

Here we look at some rants and comments between them over the years. Classic stuff, enjoy.

November 1996

Sir Alex Ferguson bristles at the notion of Arsene Wenger, newly arrived at Arsenal, as a cerebral ‘professor’ of football. “They say he’s an intelligent man, right? Speaks five languages,” says Ferguson. “I’ve got a 15-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast who speaks five languages.”

April 1997

The real first spat. After Wenger complains about fixtures being in Manchester United’s favour Ferguson says: “He’s a novice – he should keep his opinions to Japanese football.”

April 1999

After United’s epic FA Cup semi-final replay victory Ferguson incensed after Wenger doesn’t shake Fergie’s hand. United go on to win treble.

May 2002

After Arsenal complete the double Ferguson brands Arsenal over-physical “scrappers”. Wenger retorts: “Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home”

September 2003

The ‘Battle of Old Trafford’, a 0-0 draw which sees Patrick Vieira sent off and Martin Keown go ape at Ruud van Nistelrooy. Arsenal go the season unbeaten.

October 2004

United end Arsenal’s unbeaten run at Old Trafford in an ill-tempered game. A pizza is thrown in to the United dressing room and Wenger calls van Nistelrooy a “cheat”. “Their behaviour was the worst thing I have seen in this sport.,” says Ferguson. “They got off scot-free.”

January 2005

War of words continues from the previous meeting with Ferguson calling Wenger a “disgrace”, continuing, “I don’t expect Wenger to ever apologise, he’s that type of person.” Wenger vows never to answer questions about Ferguson again. A vow he keeps for less than a month.

September 2008

At a League Managers Association dinner the pair share a stage and jokes and smiles. “There is a much better understanding and mutual respect now,” gushes Wenger.

May 2009

United thrash Arsenal in Champs League semi-finals to confirm a period of superiority over their rivals that many believe the root of the mellowing of hostilities.

%d bloggers like this: