• Premier League

Wenger backs Ferguson over autobiography

ESPN staff
October 25, 2013
Wenger looking forward to reading Ferguson's autobiography

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to publish his much-discussed autobiography, which devoted an entire chapter to the enduring rivalry the former Manchester United manager enjoyed with the long-serving Arsenal boss.

While Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and Swansea manager Michael Laudrup criticised Ferguson for revealing dressing room secrets from his time as United boss, Wenger suggested his old foe had every right to publish his novel and hinted he may be tempted to write his own memoirs when his career draws to a close.

"I don't plan to write my own book at the moment, but maybe one day I will be inspired to do that," said Wenger. "I do not say never, but at the moment I don't have that need at all.

"The past is history and history has to be written. It's good. It is a legacy of his career and I think that is important. He was for 26, 27 years Manchester United manager. He was not anonymous. It is huge what he has achieved.

"Honestly it is difficult for me to answer any suggestion about this book as I have not read it, yet. I will read it, but at the moment I am a bit busy."

Wenger went on to speak about his recollections of the famous clash with United at Old Trafford in 2004, when Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten run came to an end amid fractious scenes in a post-match fracas in the tunnel, with pizza allegedly thrown at Ferguson by Arsenal players.

"The 'Pizzagate' incident, it was a little unrest in the corridor," recalls Wenger. "It was the 49th game [of Arsenal's unbeaten run], refereed by Mike Riley at the time, who is now responsible for the referees and I think on that day he had not his best day. That brought a lot of frustration.

"Rio Ferdinand should have been off after 20 minutes and that is what created all the problems in the corridor. Yes it was aggressive because to lose after such a long run undefeated was not acceptable. That's why everyone was frustrated."

Ferguson's suggestion that Wenger had 'shown his soft side' with his signings in recent years was accepted by the Arsenal boss, but he admitted his failure to sign powerful midfield performers was a matter of coincidence.

"Do I have a soft side, yes of course," he added. "I just try to buy good players. Sometimes more technical players are not the biggest tacklers. If they have both I am happy.

"Compared to the start of my career at Arsenal, we have gone for a bit of different type of players than at the start of my time at Arsenal, but that was coincidence than planned."

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