They were never exactly the best of friends, especially when Arsenal were the main rival to Manchester United in the search for trophy success, but Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson clearly have some respect for each other, rather than the thinly veiled dislike and disrespect that is between the Arsenal boss and Jose Mourinho.
So I am not all that surprised to read the words of support for the Frenchman in the Daily Mail by the former United boss. With the long running debate about whether Arsenal should stick with Wenger or get a new man in never far from the minds of Gooners, and always just one poor game away from sparking it off in the football media, Fergie appears to come down firmly on the AKB side.
The Scot acknowledges that the long wait for a trophy and the ongoing wait for a Premier League title would normally have seen a club as big as Arsenal change the man in charge, but just as United stuck with him in times of trouble, Fergie thinks that Arsenal have done the right thing. And he has a word of warning for the WOBs out there, namely that the Gunners will struggle to find anyone as good as what we already have.
He said, “It’s just like me if I hadn’t progressed the club after the ’94 team or the ’99 team I would maybe having the same problems as Arsene, but he’s stayed with his conviction, he’s stayed with what he believes in.
“When all the pressure – I’m thinking about the pressure I said to a few of my friends – who are they going to get to replace Arsene Wenger, you know, who are they going to get who is better than Arsene Wenger?
“And that’s why they don’t do [sack him], that’s why they’ve stuck by him.”
But how long will Arsenal continue to stick with Wenger without an EPL title to celebrate, especially when we still see terrible performances and results like the first two Champions League games? Does he have to win the big trophy this time to keep his job?