Ferguson believes Arsenal have it all to do

Ferguson and Wenger

United and Arsenal have had some fantastic contests throughout the years – with United putting in an exhilarating performance against Arsenal in the 3-1 victory in May. However, Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Arsenal have got the ‘biggest test’ in 2009/10 due to the fact that the club is apparently ‘strapped for cash’. Fergie’s comments come after striker Emmanuel Adebayor left the club for Manchester City this week.

United beat Arsenal twice in the Champions league last season, 1-0 at Old Trafford and 3-1 at the Emirates but lost 2-1 in the league (at Arsenal) and drew 0-0 (at Old Trafford) – which clinched the clubs 18th league title. Sir Alex Ferguson had defended Wenger in the season – however his latest comments may not go down too well over in North London.

“Arsenal have got the biggest test to be where they want to be. I know that Arsene doesn’t have any money. I think that selling Adebayor … well, whether he can use that money is another question. There seems to be evidence that he can’t use the money, I don’t know. I think they’re struggling cash-wise. It’s a big test for Arsenal. I think Arsenal is his (Wenger’s) club. He built it in his image and it’s hard to leave it. He could have gone to Real Madrid, but is Real Madrid his kind of club? The way he thinks about football? I don’t think so.”

19 Comments on Ferguson believes Arsenal have it all to do

  1. Arsenal have tended to flourish after throwing the monkey from their back – Henry in 2007 a recent example.

    Now I don’t think they’re good enough to be champions – and my major criticsm of Wengers teams is that none of them have ever had any balls for a fight – all of their recent league titles came when United were severely – SEVERELY – weakened for huge parts of the season, not to take anything away from their achievements, but that is a characteristic of Wengers sides that he has afforded to be blind to and now in a sense he is paying the consequences.

    The kids he purchased from other clubs may have bags of talent – as well they should – generally though Wenger has shown, in comparison to Ferguson, an inadequacy in teaching young players professionalism, dignity and steel. This is clearly evidenced in our achievements in 1995 and even of today.

    The unfair thing is that second means last – the financial outlay into Arsenal’s scouting system and such is obviously reaping the benefits now and they have been comfortable in at least 4th for the last 4 years.

    The only issue I have ever had is when it comes to the media comparing the Arsenal side with the United one, and generally always coming up with favourable anecdotes for the Arsenal team that would involve a lesser financial outlay.

    My counter argument would be that United maintained success with trophies while Arsenal had the odd cup run but didn’t win anything over the last what will be 5 years – to that end, Allardyce’s job at Bolton was probably a more commendable achievement than Wenger’s at Arsenal.

    Romanticizing is all well and good but when you see United tear Arsenal apart with a brand of football Arsenal could only dream of (in the 4-0 last year and 3-1 this year) then you can surely only hold your hands up and admit it.

    The problem however lies with the british media who will quickly brush over those encounters but point to Barcelona’s CL Final win as a masterstroke of midfield majestry indicating United are light years behind, when just one year previous we had done exactly the same to them in the semi final.

  2. By the way the overall point I was trying to make was a positive one for Arsenal, I think they will do far better without Adebayor, I think Bendtner will improve no end. I kind of trailed and got a few things off my chest!

  3. It’s good that old red nose is being negative towards the ARSE again. He must feel we’re a threat again this season, and he’s not wrong. GOONERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Yolkie, I think you are talking a load of rubbish. So are you not going to give Man U the credit for winning the league when other teams are ‘SEVERLY’ (as you put it) weaken during the season???

    Arsenal last season, was without Fab (out for months, coming back in poor form), Walcott(out for 2-3 months), Rosciky, Eduardo (out for the season with the latter coming back for only a few games then injuries again), Gallas and Clichy (out when we most needed them).

    Liverpool was without Gerrard for the most important games near the end of the season. Torres was injured at parts of the game.

    Terry as I record was injured for a long spell a couple of seasons ago, as well as Lampard.

    ‘SEVERLY’ or not key players do get injured and ofcause have an impact on teams.

    So is your arguement ‘if other teams have key players injured the champion is not worthy?’

    If so then Man U isn’t worthy champions.

    Rather then saying other teams are not worthy of champions, you should just admit that Man U won all the silverware from the last few seasons was because of one person called ‘Ronaldo’.
    Stats shows that he alone had 33% influenced on the outcome of all games played.

    You might have had a better arguement if you said that we only won the league because of Henry.

    “generally though Wenger has shown, in comparison to Ferguson, an inadequacy in teaching young players professionalism, dignity and steel.”

    So much dignity shown by ronaldo!? Actually, which other youngsters did ferguson discovered since the golden age of becks, nevile n giggs? That with so much professionalism that the nevile brothers tries to kick opposition off the park instead of playing football and celebrate infront of opposition crowd.

    To discredit players such as Henry, Van Persie and rob them of thier professionalism, dignity and steel is far from short sighted. Arsenal did in fairless grown some bad apples, Anilka and Reyes is a couple but at least Wenger knows talent when he sees it, renowned by turning unknowns to stars and being able to discover youngsters is better then not eh? Not to mention that even Real wanted his services…

    Your counter arguement also didn’t ‘counter’ anything, you only further admit that Man U maintained success with trophies was due to having an advantage of more cash compared to Arsenal having a lesser financial outlay and thank you for pointing that out, incidentally so did Fergurson on this post.

    Tearing Arsenal apart? Now I can use your excuse that it just turns out we were SERVERLY hampered by injures when we lose to Man U. BUT I don’t think us Arsenal fans are like that, so I must admit that Man U played better then us on the day. But some days I can also say that we were passing so beautifully that Man U can’t even get the ball or are so scared to lose that they resort to putting 10 man behind the ball like 0-0 may 2009.

    Well in all honesty I think Ronaldo made the right decision in moving to Real, it was a big disappointment in the CL final for him when Fegurson deployed such negative tatics. It does prove that his team can only go so far, maybe it’s that ‘steel’ you were talking about, lets defend and try couter attack passing the ball to Ronaldo, he is the world player of the year after all and can also do wonders…. shame he was on an off day eh? or Maybe just maybe that Barca did out class Man u on the night? Hmm.. no? nah, can’t be right?

    At least Arsenal were attacking all the way even with a man down when AC defeated us.

  5. Strike force was not a problem last season if you look at the numbers of goals scored. It was the weakness in midfield that Arsenal that result in numbers of conceded. Remember 1997/98, when Tony Adams told Wenger that the midfielders(Vieira and Petit) must help to defend as well. Arsenal went on to win the title and FA Cup. This did not gone well last season espcicaly with loss of Flamini and Gilberto

  6. Yorkie, I am so used to reading absolute garbage in responses in footballing websites and blogs that it’s refreshing to read something that is of quality and has been compiled using thought and consideration.

    I do agree with many of your points.

    However, as an Arsenal fan, like you my point of view may be coloured by my love for my team and loathing for all others, when taking a view point.

    I have to concede that our team has many week points. The greatest of which is financial.

    I concede that Fergie’s greatest strength is the steel he puts into each and every United player. I also have to admit that Arsenal are missing steel in vital areas. I think this highlights the major difference between the two sides and managers.

    Fergie has an ability to put steel in every player. Yes, and he does. He hasn’t the ability to improve them skills wise. To this end he buys skillful players and adds steel. It has ben an amazing and successful combination without equal in football. The trophy cabinet doesn’t lie.

    Wenger however hasn’t the ability to improve players steel wise. Wenger buys players with promise and improves them technically which is amazing and people aplaud him for it and rightfully so as he is extremely talented in this department and is probably without equal anywhere in football management.

    Wengers failure is that he won’t buy a player that has stel in abundance and give him technical ability. So on this front I concede Ferguson is the better club manager as he has recognised his weekness and adapted to accomodate his flaw.

    If Wenger ever recognises his flaw and buys a few players with steel and adds the required finess to put on an Arsenal shirt then United would have a serious threat.

    From my view point Chelsea and United get all the goos refereeing decisions and all the good press. Arsenal get treated poorly on this count.

    From your view point I expect you see the opposite.

    We both can’t be right.

    However I think we should both cocede and admit that Wenger deserves the plaudits he gets when people hail him as the best manager in the world when it comes to develping players technically.

    And, Ferguson derserves the plaudits he gets when the press hail him as the best manager in the world when it comes to club management.

    There are two philosophies at play here and they are diametrically opposed.

    I think whilst I prefer a girl to be beautiful and will accept her weeknesses due to her beauty. You prefer a girl with robust hips and chafed hands.

    But we both love our girls and will never change and this is to be commended.

    Your girl may win out when it comes to ploughing a feild all year long where as my girl turns heads.

    Your girl puts food on the table and trophies in the cabinet for the marrows she produces where as mine does not.

    But still you will always be envious of my girls astonishing beauty.

    My biggest fear and I’m sure it is yours too, is for the day Fergie and Wenger retire.

    For sure on that day your girls back will give out and there will be no more food on your table and my girls beauty will fade quickly and then dissapear altogether.

    Enjoy it while it lasts.

  7. Sir Alex might be right on that Arsene has very limited budget but he has had similar small budgets every year after moving to Emirates’ Stadium.
    As to the sales of Ade, Arsene has been selling senior players in recently years. What is the matter? We have plenty of talented young players, who are coming to age and more than capable of filling the voids left. Other than Arsene, none would believe that Gibbs is capable of doing such a brilliant job at the left back. When

  8. Arsenal board members led by Hill-Wood should step down if they can not finance the players transfers. Do not be surprised as Prof Wenger will be accused by Arsenal fans while the problem is with the board.

  9. This is just Ferguson trying to deflect the negativity away from Man United. As Man Utd are by far weaker losing Ronaldo & Tevez, despite Owen being a great bit of business.

    Ferguson states Arsenal financial woes – but this just reflects the situation Man Utd are in. He has stated publically the Ronldo money will not be re invested in players.

    This years league will be alot closer – I’d say Chelsea if they keep Terry will win it. but Liverpool again if Alonso & Mascherano stay will have a large say.

    Ferguson only ever has a go at Wenger when he see’s him as a threat, and this year Arsenal will be a threat if the likes of Eduardo & Roisiky can stay fit.

  10. Kurt – extremely mature and insightful response, you truely have avoided looking like a moronic buffoon – well done.

    ikki – don’t get arsey with me if that’s what Fergie was talking about yesterday.

    The amount of crap i’ve had to delete – ‘Munich wankers’ being one of the most used terms – christ, can’t fans have a mature debate about football rather than acting like oversensitive twats? Fergie thinks Arsenal have it all to do – do you agree or disagree? That is all that is being asked.


    To the Gooners who have responded well – many thanks for contributing to the post.

  11. Aussie Gooner

    I disagree with your comment:

    “I think whilst I prefer a girl to be beautiful and will accept her weeknesses due to her beauty. You prefer a girl with robust hips and chafed hands.

    But we both love our girls and will never change and this is to be commended.

    Your girl may win out when it comes to ploughing a feild all year long where as my girl turns heads.

    Your girl puts food on the table and trophies in the cabinet for the marrows she produces where as mine does not.

    But still you will always be envious of my girls astonishing beauty.”

    United aren’t a long ball direct team, we play football and always have. I think there is this illusion that everyone looks at Arsenal with envy and wish we could all play like that – I hate to tell you it but we don’t at all. I think United are the best team in the land and its not from being physical as you’ve put across in your analogy.

    If Arsenal want to keep banging on about youth and ‘beautiful football’ or that going unbeaten in 03/04 is a better achievement that winning the treble then fine – go nuts – we couldn’t care less.

  12. i believe fergy has it all to do, arsenal have won united and united have lost a key player and a life saver tevez gets those all important goals. also english football is doing well with are youth system wilshere gibbs and many more are all to look foward to in the future

  13. Hi Strtford-End,
    I didn’t say you were or are a long ball team. I don’t think you are a long ball team at all.

    Your team has some artistry, lots of passion, good bite, solid confidence and they play high tempo pressure football and yes you are very good at it and it has certainly been reflected in the trophy stakes. I am happy to concede all these things.

    Maybe my analogy of the beautiful girl and the not so beautiful girl grated with you. Maybe it was meant to maybe not. But you responded in defence of your girl. Understandable. I would too.

    I think you will have to admit that you have just sold a little bit of the artistry you had.

    So have we.

    I think you will miss what you have sold more than we will miss what we have sold. Do you not agree?

    My point still stands. You have artistry as one of the feathers in your cap, it’s just not your largest feather. But you have many feathers in your cap so don’t worry. You have the feather of steel. The feather of confidence. The feather of bite. The feather of passion and the high tempo feather. All very nice feathers and they seem to get you many trophies.

    We have only one feather in our cap. but it’s very good looking indeed and many people comment on it’s magnificence. Don’t let that upset you.

  14. Hi Stretford-End,
    If my analogies confused you into thinking I was asserting that the physical aspect of your game won you the league then I am sorry because that was not my intension. Quite to the contrary. I meant that a little physical bite is what’s missing from the mighty Arsenals game. If we can find that bite (I don’t think Arsene is going to buy it, it’s not his style) which you seem to have then Fergie will need to worry about us again.

    What I’m sure he is worried about is the bit of artistry that the ballet dancer you just sold gave you. How many points over the last two seasons did Ronaldo account for in 1-0 wins. I bet it was alot and you know as well as everyone else that he will be missed. You know as well as I do that you cannot and will not replace his artistry easily.

    I’m sure you miss as much as I miss the battles between Keane/Vieira and Keown/Van Noundjhbfbvlaahsvbrooy

    We had steel in those days. We were your match in those days. They were the best days this league has ever seen.

    Your battles with Chelsea are dull affairs in comparison.

    Your battles with Liverpool last season were uninteresting also compared to the titanic battles between Henry/Neville and Beckham/Adams.

    You won the league the last two seasons, but I know you’d have enjoyed it all the more if Arsenal were serious contenders.

    I know in those days you were so hard to beat and that was what gave the title so much meaning. The rivalry between Arsenal/Man U made the league special.

    Chelsea don’t bring anything exciting to the league at all. Chelsea are the hideous girl in the corner with bad breathe zero personality and bad dress sence wondering why no-one wants to dance with her.

    I know you miss a competitive Arsenal. You need Arsenal to push you in ways Liverpool and Chelsea can’t.

    Go back and read my initial post and you will see that my real and obvious point was that Fergie and Wenger will be missed by everyone when they are gone. I know I’ve missed their rivalry over the last 4 years because we haven’t been competitve. We should all hope that is about to change.

  15. aussiegooner – Ronaldo is an enormous loss to United, no one is questioning that – but so was Cantona, Stam, Keane in recent times – maybe not to this extent considering Ronaldo was world player of the year – but you won’t get anyone in Old Trafford saying that United will be better off.

    I think Fergie’s comments are fair because Arsenal had a choice to make some years ago considering the fact that they could not expand Highbury due to the houses that surround the stadium and that choice resulted in a limited budget – so by selling Adebayor – even though the majority of Arsenal fans wanted rid anyone – he believes Wenger won’t be able to spend £25Million on a forward.

    Now Arsenal fans will be the first to state their claim that ‘Wenger doesn’t buy trophies’ he grooms the players into champions – which isn’t entirely true. Out of the supposed current crop that should already have achieved greatness by the press build up – how many have won the league? Fabregas as an youngster in 2004? Remember Wenger blew £17Million on Reyes – when Arsenal fans always cite the £3Million purchase of Djemba Djemba as a crazy transfer.

    End of the day – I don’t care who is competing with United – as long as United come out on top. Lastly, I’m not upset by you comments on ‘a beautiful girl’ I merely think that it is a poor analogy considering we’ve won more league titles, more European Cups and have a tradition of playing good attacking footballing. Remember – Arsenal didn’t start with Wenger – there were some horror shows pre-1996.

  16. MF – apologies for any offence, I’ll try and explain my rationale.

    I’m not taking anything away from your team’s achievements, but the compelling fact is that in those seasons you have managed to be relatively injury free all campaign. And it makes a convenient argument to use injuries as a smokescreen. Every team is handicapped by injuries as it is the hazard of the job – in each of the last two seasons I could easily name 4 or 5 significant absentees for United, for lengthy and crucial times of the season, the difference is we got on with the job. When Alan Smith suffered his injury in 2006 we dedicated our Carling Cup win to him. Gary Neville got injured in 2007, we still won the league (playing generally with one forward due to sicknote Saha). We had crippling injuries to our defence last season yet went on a record breaking run throughout it. When Eduardo had his injury the Arsenal players went to pot and the fans still lament it to this day.

    Yes the injury had an effect but is that not also a reflection of a weakness Wenger may have as a coach?

    Besides, last season, Arsenal’s best period came when they had key injuries and your worst run was with essentially a fully fit squad at the start of the season.

    Regarding the Liverpool/Chelsea injuries – as I previously indicated, for your Gerrard / Torres / Terry and Lampard I could easily give you a Rooney / Ferdinand / Scholes / Carrick / Hargreaves / Anderson / Ronaldo / Neville / Brown, the difference is our players got on with it and rose to the challenge.

    My argument clearly had nothing to do with “if other teams have key players injured the champion is not worthy”, I was indicating that in Arsenal’s triumphant seasons Wenger has been blessed with a fully fit squad while United have had severe injury problems. Arsenal clearly deserved the title on all three occasions but my argument does hold substantial water considering that Wenger has not been able to do what Ferguson has, and that is provide proper success against adversity.

    The one man team is a boring nonsense – clearly Ronaldo was the beneficiary of a selfless team. To that point I perhaps should let it known I believe Bergkamp was by far more effective for Arsenal than Henry and I suppose the direction of the club since Bergkamp left illustrates that somewhat.

    Regarding my “robbing” of individuals dignity, this is also far from the case and I think you are studying my comments far too simplisticly. My point was generally in comparison Ferguson has a better track record.

    I must admit I’m not Ronaldo’s biggest fan but there’s a difference between dignity and arrogance which I think you’re confusing. His diving and posturing annoyed the majority of fans – you question the professionalism of Neville on the basis of one game even though he responded to those accusations by being part of the team that not only kept their cool in the return but also responded by contributing to do their talking by “playing football”.

    You listed Arsenal individuals – I did not. You suggest that Ronaldo and Neville are not exactly good examples of Fergusons youth policy with regards, shall we call it, “personal development” (I disagree but that’s life). Nonetheless, both are a damn sight better than the likes of the spitting Eboue, Vieira and the fighting with team-mates Adebayor – this is without moving on to Arsenal’s terrible disciplinary record under Wenger (I have listed only those bought as youngsters and nurtured as people, I believe Ferguson compares favourably when it comes to handling more senior players).

    Counter argument was provided to demonstrate both clubs expectations of success. Number of academy regulars for Arsenal the last time they last won a trophy – two – Cole and Fabregas (including Fabregas for the sake of Argument). Number last time United did – four, O’Shea, Fletcher, Scholes and Giggs. You could argue that Neville and Brown (and even Rafael if we’re including Fabregas) get in there but the point is already made.

    I’m not saying Wengers achievements are not excellent. Of course they are and I think if he has revolutionised anything it is scouting systems and the nous to pick up good foreign players for cheap. It has certainly helped Arsenal stay competitive. But the point I was making is that competitive isn’t enough for Manchester United, and just being competitive doesn’t equal success for us.

    Regarding the last couple of games last season – the 1-3, I’m aware that Arsenal had Clichy, Gallas and Rosicky out, United also had Brown and Hargreaves out (playing with effectively a fourth choice right back, after Neville / Brown / Rafael). I’m being kind in including Rosicky to that list as playing with Fabregas, Walcott and Nasri one of those wouldn’t have played anyway, just as Scholes and Berbatov were on the bench, but it’s hardly the injury mismatch you made it out to be.

    The 0-0 was a dour display but probably owed far more to the occasion than any brilliance you imagine Arsenal displayed.

    As for the final? Barcelona completely outplayed us. Unfortunately for us our “steel” was not available as Fletcher and Hargreaves were suspended and injured. I still think Anderson has amazing potential but that game came too soon for him. But you may have been watching a different game as the one I watched we came out all guns blazing and suffered due to having, yes, the “steel” in midfield.

    As I have said though I think Wenger has done a great job at Arsenal and I do believe that they will benefit from the sale of Adebayor, good management there. Sorry for the lengthy reply but I feel you were a lot more agitated than I had intended to make anyone feel!

    A general point regarding something you said “Actually, which other youngsters did ferguson discovered since the golden age of becks, nevile n giggs?”
    I’m staggered that this is somehow used as a weapon to bash Fergie with. As if the achievement of bringing through Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, Butt and the Neville brothers within a short space of time is actually a hindrance rather than something to be celebrated, despite the fact that other than the recent West Ham academy and the Ajax mid 90’s string, no youth system in modern day football has been anywhere near as prolific (Barca’s is starting to bear fruit even if the players are respectively late bloomers). Even if that’s all Ferguson had achieved it would be a worthy accomplishment. Ryan Giggs was named PFA Player of the Year – that he is still playing at a top level and achieving so much more than his opponents is surely a stronger testament to Ferguson’s ability as a coach, I don’t understand why he should have found another Giggs when the current one is still pretty good?
    Besides which, the likes of Brown, Fletcher, O’Shea are all easily top 4 material as they have proved by being integral parts of our amazing last 2 seasons. Deride them all you like but that’s still more produce than any high achieving domestic academy.


    aussiegooner – thank you for interpreting my comments in the non offensive way they were intended.
    For the plaudits part, forgive me for indulging a little but I think Ferguson’s aces of technical ability in Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo and Rooney probably just trump Wengers in Fabregas, special talent though he is. There are more on either side but again I’m concentrating on the best examples and those that you could say were moulded by both managers.

    Regarding the girlfriend analogy, allow me to put my own spin on it.

    Arsenal and Manchester United are equally beautiful twin girls. One puts out and the other doesn’t. (Ok, the Arsenal girl has slightly dodgy eyes, too) 😛

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