Thursday 17 January 2019

Arsene Wenger reveals how Alex Ferguson has supported him during tough Arsenal run

Arsene Wenger has revealed he has been getting messages of support from his old foe Alex Ferguson during his toughest period as Arsenal manager.

The duo were embroiled in a bitter battle following Wenger’s arrival in English football in 1996, but there has been a thawing of relations between the managerial giants in recent years and now the Arsenal boss has confirmed his former Manchester United adversary has been in touch with him over the last few weeks.

Calls for Wenger to step down as Arsenal boss have reached a crescendo after a succession of defeats that included a heavy loss in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City last month, with Ferguson emerging as an unexpected source of support.

When asked whether he has received support from his rivals in recent weeks, Wenger responded: "From current and past (managers). I have a good relationship with Ferguson at the moment, sometimes he sends me a message, yes, when things don’t go well.

"We all know we are on the same boat. I can understand every manager has his own problems and has to face his own daily situation.

"There is a solidarity there and I support the other managers always, we all do that. I made 820 Premier League games, 200 European club games but there is no possibility not to suffer. You have to suffer.

"Every manager will tell you when he doesn’t get results that the first thing affected is the mood, the lack of sleep.

"Overall, it is part of the job. When you are a young manager you dream that you want to win every football game. But it is not about that. It is about surviving through disappointments and finding solutions. That is interesting as well and can make you a better manager.

"I got many messages from people who are supportive and I must stay I am very grateful for that.

"We all go through tough times but, when you take a little bit of perspective, we got to a cup final and played against the best team in the country.

"Yes, criticism hurts but honestly I can take a distance from that. It is not the person they hate, it is the manager that doesn’t deliver the performance.

"I’m just unhappy that we lose the games; I want to win. My whole life is guided towards that.

"I want to win with style, it is very ambitious. When I don’t win I am suffering like everyone else. Arsenal football club today is 30 million people. It is not the suffering of one person. You want to make 30 million people happy and that is what I care about."

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