They might have been the biggest of enemies on the pitch, but now that the battle is over (at least for one of them), Arsena Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson seem to be enjoying a good friendship together.
Now, the duo are all but full of each other’s qualities and are all praises for one another. Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger seemed to be admiring Ferguson the most, as he talked about the Manchester United legend. While saying that the two still kept in touch, the Frenchman said that he was still amazed at Ferguson’s ability to “reinvent himself”.
Ferguson had retired from his position as the most successful manager of Manchester United, after winning an astounding 38 trophies with the club, while Wenger is still managing his North London side and going on with the rigours of day-to-day man management at a football club.
Wenger said in an interview with French magazine . L’Equipe, “For me, at this level, Ferguson is an example. For starters, he always knew how to reinvent himself, how to evolve. He did not stand still in success. It is a quality of his that I appreciate. He always knew how to challenge himself. Even if he did it instinctively.”
However, The Arsenal manager did say that unlike himself, Ferguson did have certain other passions, other than football.
a But he had other passions. He liked horses. Wine. He knew red wine better than I did,” said Wenger. “Recently, I met with him and I said to him: ‘Alex, do you not miss it?’. He responded to me a not at alla . I was at that moment disappointed and comforted. It gives me a reason to hope for myself.a
Wenger weary of being presented as ‘former’ Arsenal FC manager
Although he had indicated last month that he might be hanging up his boots after 2017, he seems to be dreading the time he would officially be called “former” Arsenal FC manager.
a I am not Ferguson. I do not have a substitute and I am not interested in looking back either. Like writing a book about what on my experiences,” said Wenger. “I suffer when I see former players who come back to see me and who are no longer fully happy.
a To be presented as Mr X, the former Arsenal player, and not for what he is today is painful, he continued. “Having to be what you once were is a form of suffering. I hope, in my after-life [life after football], that I can be something other than the former manager of Arsenal. Coach kids. Be useful.a
However he may be presented after his impending retirement from Arsenal FC, Wenger would surely be remembered by the Arsenal faithful as one of the greatest managers they ever had. He is after all, the one who introduced the true nature of the beautiful game to “Boring Boring Arsenal”.