• Premier League

Wenger pays tribute to 'immaculate' Ferguson

ESPN staff
May 10, 2013
The rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United was the defining one of the Premier League era © PA Photos

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has paid tribute to the 'immaculate achievement' of Sir Alex Ferguson via the club's official website and believes the conditions are ideal for David Moyes to succeed him as Manchester United manager.

Moyes will this summer leave Everton to replace Ferguson, who is retiring at the end of the season having claimed 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League triumphs and five FA Cups during his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford.

At their peak under Wenger, Arsenal's rivalry with United was the defining one of the Premier League era, but the Frenchman was unreserved in his praise for his long-time rival.

"I would just like to pay tribute to an unbelievable achievement and a fantastic career," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "Basically the achievement is immaculate, when you look at the whole structure and consistency of the achievement. It is, of course, something exceptional.

"It is difficult to imagine English football without him, but it's now a reality and a fact. Of course the next manager has to fill in and show he has the dimension to do that. It is a big task for the guy who comes in."

Moyes will arrive at United following an 11-year spell at Goodison Park where the expectations were considerably less than they are at Old Trafford. While describing Ferguson's position as "a great void to fill", Wenger thinks that Moyes could not ask to inherit a job at a club in better health than the reigning Premier League champions.

"What you can say still is that Manchester United are commercially and financially one of the strongest two or three clubs in the world, and that is still a good basis to start when you come in because you know the players are there, the team is there, and the potential is there," he said.

"They have developed very well and they are in a very, very strong position to deal with the problem they face.

"But of course it's a great void to fill for Manchester United, because the charisma and personality disappears suddenly in a club which has been dominated by it for such a long time. It's not an easy task to replace a person like that."

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