Ferguson rated best ever but how close was Wenger?

Alex Ferguson is rated as the best ever Premier League manager, and and while nobody can boast his trophy record, argument can be made on merit.

Manchester strongly dominated the English top division for some time, with Ferguson leading them to 13 PL titles between 1992 and 2013, and it was Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side that would constantly challenge them.

Ferguson was well on his way to his fifth league title in the 97-98 season, only for the Frenchman’s Gunners to overcome a 12 point deficit at the top of the table with only seven matches remaining, a situation which famously cost bookmakers Betfred a large sum, with the company deciding to pay out on the league winners early, before having to pay out again when Arsenal triumphed.

Large sections of our fan group eventually turned on the tactician, with the club having stagnated in progress since the Emirates Stadium was built, but he appears to have been the scapegoat as there has still been limited progress shown by the club since, although that will hopefully be about to change under Mikel Arteta.

Wenger is not most famous for his 97-98 triumph however, despite achieving a glorious league and cup double that year, but he of course led Arsenal to become the famously known ‘Invincibles’ in 2004, which just so happens to be the last time our club was crowned league champions.

Arguments can be made to claim that the club moved to sell off their best players in the years to follow, with the new stadium blamed for the financial implications, and with strong rivals for competition some would argue Wenger did a spectacular job in even securing Champions League football with some of the teams over the years, but it is the trophies which seal the deal for Ferguson.

In reality, the Scot’s dominance was largely helped by the financial might of Man United, not that they are currently able to turn that power into trophies at present, but much of our success was done on a much stringent budget, and you could argue that his league titles were much the more impressive.

Does Wenger deserve to be credited with similar praise as Ferguson? Are the two alone in their own bracket of all-time PL greats?

Patrick

4 Comments

  1. aimaria says:

    Of course Wenger would have won more trophies than Ferguson if only he had the money to spend/
    That is the only reason Ferguson did so well and others would have done better with the money he spent.
    Arsene Wenger was far better and a gentleman /

  2. Durand says:

    Wenger changed the English game, had Invincibles and Champions League qualification. But like it or not, trophies are what determines the best.
    I’m proud of Wenger and his accomplishments, but I admit Sir Alex stands at the pinnacle alone.

  3. Nigel Benson says:

    No comparison. Ferguson bought most of his trophies and head-hunted big-name players from other clubs. Man U broke transfer records year after year. Wenger identified and made players. The affection he is still held in by former-players says it all. He not only led Arsenal to unprecedented success, including an historic Invincible season, but he inspired a new stadium. He also gave a generation of new Gooners totally unrealistic expectations of what being an Arsenal fan is about. The man was a magician. Comparing Ferguson to Wenger is like comparing a Model T Ford to a Tesla.

    1. SueP says:

      Nigel
      I think in some respects you are right as Utd certainly could splash the cash. That doesn’t necessarily bring continued success. Ferguson was able to seamlessly reinvent the team year after year and this to me was his true talent as shown after his departure.
      Wenger was an extraordinary man and mostly brought great dignity to the club
      I revere his achievements-particularly in the first half of his time at Arsenal but even later he somehow scraped us into the CL and won several more FA Cups without being able to sign the very best available.

      Ferguson won more over a longer period and was a ruthless operator so he comes out on top in my opinion

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