HomeSoccerManagerial Rivalries: Sir Alex Ferguson vs Arsene Wenger

Managerial Rivalries: Sir Alex Ferguson vs Arsene Wenger

- Advertisement -

The distinctness from the present makes the past look beautiful, and leaves us with the sense of amazement. If the history of football is written ever, the managerial rivalries of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger will have a different chapter written on them. They would attract the degree of marvelousness which the Egyptian pyramids attract.

We can say that football is all about rivalries. It may be about the rivalries between the clubs, rivalries between the players and could also include rivalries between the managers. There have been very few managerial rivalries which have gained more attraction than the rivalry between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

“The Professor lands in England”

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger revolutionized the way football was played at that time (Image Credits: mukherjeearkatarun)
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Manchester United were doing great in Europe and were dominating English football. However, Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t expect to find a rival and opposition in the form of Arsene Wenger who flew from Japan to England. To be precise, Arsene Wenger revolutionised the way of football being played during that time.

Arsene Wenger shell shocked the Scottish international when he achieved the double over Sir Alex Ferguson in his first season itself. Moreover, the Gunners manager had introduced new dietary measures and methods to give a different touch to the Arsenal squad.

This not only gained bad attention from Sir Alex Ferguson but also gained praise from the media. The methods made Sir Alex go lengths and bounds to get the North London club.

Arsene Wenger brought the French Armada and the flair with him that helped France to win the 1998 World Cup. Despite the mounting challenges, Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t shy away from it and ensured his strong leadership skill. He was always up to it and never rested until he made Manchester United capable of it.

“The Knife between their teeth rivalry”

One of the biggest managerial rivalries: Arsene Wenger vs. Sir Alex Ferguson:
Both the giants made watching football more fun for football lovers (Image Credits: Bleacher Report)

The first noticeable moment in the rivalry came when both the sides clashed in 1998-99 season. The fixture was a FA Cup knockout fixture and both were raring to go out. If Arsenal had won the FA Cup semifinals, they would land on a double and if Manchester United get on top of Arsenal, they were very near to the historic treble.

There were two crucial moments in the game. Peter Schmeichel’s penalty save and Ryan Giggs set the precedence for Manchester United’s historic treble. However, it sparked the flash of rivalry between the two.

Both the managers fought hard for the titles and the clashes were highly intense in nature. However, everything has an end. The final chapter of the historic rivalry came in 2004-05 when Manchester United faced Arsenal. The game is also known for the “Pizza slice gate” or also known as ” Battle of the Buffet”.

Sir Alex Ferguson was highly undone by Arsenal’s achievement of being “Invincibles” in 2003-04 season and winning the title. Moreover, if Arsenal hadn’t met Red Devils since then in the Premier League. It was October of 2004-05. The Scottish manager was determined to plot the victory at Highbury. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney scripted the victory for Manchester United and ended the 49 games unbeaten run of Arsenal.

Frustrated from the game, Cesc Fabregas threw the Pizza Slice on Sir Alex Ferguson when all were returning in the tunnel. This marked the end of the iconic rivalry.

“The twilight of the rivalry”

2004/05 Season Review
(Image Credits:

Fighting over six seasons for the trophies, league titles and domestic dominance, Arsenal couldn’t match the ruthlessness of Manchester United. Moreover, the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge changed the complexion of the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho mounted challenges on Sir Alex after he won the title with Chelsea. On the other hand, Arsene Wenger had to struggle with the finance after Arsenal decided to move to Emirates from Highbury. Moreover, Wenger’s failure to adapt to new style of football cost dearly.

Sir Alex aged like a fine wine while his tenure at Old Trafford and became the expert of playing mind games. Though Wenger tried to remain out of these things, the Frenchman fell to tactics of Sir Alex. However, “The Professor” gave the run for the money for Manchester United’s legendary manager with his tactics and discipline.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger share a different kind of rivalry which is unparalleled in the history of football. Moreover, they both respect each other for what they have achieved. The passion, loyalty and hunger to excel are the things which drove them ahead.

Which is your favourite moment in the iconic managerial rivalry between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger? Comment down.

Follow us on facebook for more sports news & updates

- Advertisement -

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

IPL 2018: Purple Cap Holders Over The Years

The Indian Premier League (IPL), like any other global T20s league,  has been a batsman's paradise. In the batsmen friendly format, bowlers have found...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

Amid an unstoppable flow of runs, Smriti Mandhana tipped to get prestigious Arjuna Award

When the BCCI announced that free-hitting batswoman Smriti Mandhana would be awarded the Arjuna Award, there were more smiles than doubts. For Smriti Mandhana,...

Fresh fitness blow adds to woes for Mohammed Shami

Earlier this year, India fast bowler Mohammed Shami was the leading wicket-taker in South Africa and helped the national team to win a Test...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Who Is the Better Formula 1 Racer, Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton?

Despite Verstappen’s first win in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021, a new debate has sparked on which Formula 1 racer is better? Max Verstappen...

Benfica XI if they didn’t sell their star players

SL Benfica, based in the city of Lisbon, Portugal have made a name for themselves by scouting, recruiting and then selling some of the...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -