Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has praised his old rival Arsene Wenger ahead of what will be his 1,000 game in charge of Arsenal and is a firm believer that stability at a club is vital to success.
Wenger will become only the fourth manager to have accomplished this feat at an English club following on from Sir Matt Busby, Dario Gradi and Sir Alex himself when the Gunners take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime.
With Wenger now poised to join the elite club the Scot was quick to praise Wenger who he said had survived with him telling the Guardian:
“I congratulate Arsene in reaching this momentous landmark,” Ferguson said.
“Having also reached the same milestone at one club, I cannot emphasise enough the level of dedication, resilience as well as sacrifice required and for that I have for the utmost admiration.
“Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other’s efforts to play good football. I always enjoy watching Arsene’s sides – Arsenal plays the right way.
“Playing against them always presented special challenges that I burned many hours over the years thinking about. He has always been a conscientious member of our trade who makes it his business to help other managers.
“Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Arsene is that I could never be anything other than competitive with my rival for 17 years,” he said in a League Managers Association statement.
Wenger took over Arsenal on October 1st 1996 and has won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.
“Overall this achievement once again shows what stability can bring to a football club and without doubt he has created a permanent legacy during his 1,000 matches with the club,” Ferguson said.