Referees, others were scared of him, I wasn’t – Wenger on Alex Ferguson


Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has insisted that the referees, press and everyone in English football were scared of former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, during his time at Old Trafford.

Wenger said this while opening up on the ‘toxic’ rivalry with Ferguson during their time in Arsenal and Man United, respectively.

Ferguson had claimed that his rivalry with Wenger became ‘toxic’ during the late nineties.

But Wenger is now saying that he wasn’t scared of anybody in football, adding that he was ready to fight Ferguson.

“Alex Ferguson was the dominant figure in English football. Everyone was scared of him, from the press to the referees,” the Frenchman said on the Arsene Wenger: Invincible documentary, cited by The Mirror.

“I thought that is a good opportunity for me to show that it’s not only in England that you know how to play football. I was ready for the fight.

“It was sometimes very aggressive, especially after the games. When you are fighting to win, you are two lions.

“Your only one desire is to eat the lion who is against you. I was not scared of anybody in football.”

Wenger and Ferguson came up against each other 49 times during 17 years in the Premier League, with Man United and Arsenal sharing the title between 1996 and 2004.

Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal then dropped while Ferguson’s Man United team continued to dominate the Premier League.

The 72-year-old had shaken up the Premier League when he arrived from Japan in 1996, guiding Arsenal to win the title in 1998.