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Sir Alex Ferguson claims Thierry Henry’s arrival at Arsenal turned Arsene Wenger’s rivalry ‘toxic’

Sir Alex Ferguson claims Thierry Henry’s arrival at Arsenal made his rivalry with Arsene Wenger ‘toxic’ … but pays tribute to the former Gunners boss in a new documentary and admits Invincibles’ season is above all ‘

  • Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson once had a notoriously fierce rivalry
  • Arsenal and United bosses oversaw some mega clashes with the two sides
  • Ferguson has paid tribute to Wenger’s work at Arsenal in a new documentary


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Sir Alex Ferguson has reflected on the ferocity of his rivalry with Arsene Wenger as they led Manchester United and Arsenal, with the Scotsman underscoring Thierry Henry’s influence in the respect he gave the Gunners.

The matches between United and Arsenal were always close matches between the two teams that dominated English football at the turn of the century.

There is now respect between the two managers, as demonstrated by Ferguson’s appearance in a documentary on Wenger titled ‘Arsene Wenger: Invincible’.

Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson had an angry rivalry during their years managing Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.

Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson had an angry rivalry during their years managing Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.

Ferguson said things turned up a bit once Thierry Henry arrived at Arsenal

Ferguson said things turned up a bit once Thierry Henry arrived at Arsenal

Ferguson said things turned up a bit once Thierry Henry arrived at Arsenal

Henry (left) and Arsenal led the Premier League along with United.

Henry (left) and Arsenal led the Premier League along with United.

Henry (left) and Arsenal led the Premier League along with United.

Ferguson spoke not only of Wenger’s influence on English football as a coach, but in particular of the moves he made to compete with United, in particular with the signing of Thierry Henry.

Henry came to Arsenal in 1999 from Juventus after struggling to impress the Italian giants as a winger. Wenger deployed him as a forward and Henry reached new heights, scoring 175 Premier League goals in 258 games.

“ It got toxic for a while, ” Ferguson admitted, according to the mirror. ‘The big change Arsenal made was reinventing themselves [Thierry] Enrique. And the goals… it was fantastic.

“You are always looking in the rearview mirror to see who is coming behind you, and when you see someone, you accelerate.

“Arsenal were catching up with us, and their team was good enough to beat us, there’s no question about that.”

Ferguson won the league 13 times, but now it reflects more positively on his rivalry with Arsenal

Ferguson won the league 13 times, but now it reflects more positively on his rivalry with Arsenal

Ferguson won the league 13 times, but now it reflects more positively on his rivalry with Arsenal

Ferguson paid tribute to his old enemy Wenger for bringing out the best in forward Henry

Ferguson paid tribute to his old enemy Wenger for bringing out the best in forward Henry

Ferguson paid tribute to his old enemy Wenger for bringing out the best in forward Henry

He said Wenger's undefeated 2003-04 season at Arsenal 'is above all else'

He said Wenger's undefeated 2003-04 season at Arsenal 'is above all else'

He said Wenger’s undefeated 2003-04 season at Arsenal ‘is above all else’

Ferguson won 13 league titles in his time as United manager, but even he still takes his hat off to undefeated Wenger during the 2003-04 season.

“I won 13 leagues, but I was never close to going one season undefeated,” Ferguson told the documentary. “The achievement is above all else, and it was Arsene’s.”

Ferguson stepped down at United in 2013, and Wenger left Arsenal in 2018.

He now works for FIFA as head of world football development and is pushing to introduce a World Cup once every two years.

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