Arsene Wenger sheds new light on Sir Alex Ferguson’s “toxic” relationship.


Arsene Wenger sheds new light on Sir Alex Ferguson’s “toxic” relationship.

During their time as opponents, the former Arsenal and Manchester United managers frequently clashed.

During the height of the Arsenal-Manchester United rivalry, Arsene Wenger spoke candidly about his rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson.

During their 17 years as Premier League rivals, the two managers traded barbs on a regular basis, and a new documentary sheds more light on the nature of their relationship.

When Arsenal hired Wenger as manager in 1996, Ferguson’s Manchester United were the dominant force in English football.

Wenger arrived from the Japanese side Nagoya Grampus with little fanfare in England, but it didn’t take long for him to ruffle some feathers.

In 1997/98, Arsenal won both the Premier League and the FA Cup, igniting a rivalry with Manchester United.

United responded by winning a historic treble in the 1998/99 season, but despite their continued success, Ferguson was aware that Arsenal posed a threat to his team.

Ferguson says in the new film Arsene Wenger: Invincible, “You’re always looking in the rearview mirror to see who’s coming up behind you, and when you see someone, you accelerate.”

“Arsenal were catching up to us, and their team was capable of going above us, no doubt.”

Ferguson and Wenger both point to the FA Cup semi-final replay between the two sides in April 1999 at Villa Park as a watershed moment in the rivalry.

Dennis Bergkamp’s 90th-minute penalty was saved by Peter Schmeichel, but United rallied in injury time to win 2-1 thanks to Ryan Giggs’ brilliant solo goal.

The result was a bitter blow for Arsenal, who were chasing a double at the time, and a crucial step forward for United, who went on to win the Premier League title and beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final the following month with two injury-time goals.

Wenger and Ferguson intensified their verbal sparring in the press and on the field, and the two main characters began to dominate the news.

“It became toxic for a while,” Ferguson admits, as Wenger lays out his position on United’s manager.

“In English football, Alex Ferguson was the most powerful figure.

“Everyone, from the press to the referees, was afraid of him,” he explains.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to show that you’re not just good in England.”

“Brinkwire News Summary.”


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