Arsene Wenger's special treatment for Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Arsenal v Doncaster

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Fergu

When it comes to manager rivalries, few can match the one between Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Arsenal and Manchester United pair faced each other on the touchline 36 times over a 17-year period beginning back in 1996.

Ferguson’s retirement at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season meant they finished on level pegging with 14 wins each and eight draws.

Ferguson and Wenger can’t be separated based on their head-to-head record, but the legendary United boss is miles ahead in the silverware department having won 21 major titles since the Frenchman joined Arsenal in 1996.

Wenger, on the other hand, has clinched just ten trophies throughout his reign in North London, much to the increasing frustration of Gunners fans around the world.

While the traditional Wenger-Ferguson battle ended some years ago now, it’s set to be recreated when Arsenal host Doncaster Rovers in a League Cup tie on Wednesday.

The League One side is headed by former Peterborough and Preston North End manager Darren Ferguson – the son of the most successful British manager in history.

Doncaster Rovers v Exeter City - Sky Bet League Two

The bitterness of Wenger and his father’s relationship during the late 90s and early 2000s is a monument to the Premier League era, though their feud has long since faded – so much so the home boss is arranging for Ferguson Sr to attend tonight’s match.

“I know they had their sort of spat but they actually get on really well. They have a hell of a lot of respect for each other,” Ferguson Jr said, per the Guardian.

“In fact, Arsene is sorting out the tickets for my father for Wednesday, so there you go. Coming up against the manager is a great experience for me. He is a great manager and has had a fantastic career.

“I don’t know him but my dad knows him very well, and gets on with him very well… I’m looking forward to coming up against him because it’s something I’ve never experienced.”

Arsenal v Manchester United


Despite Doncaster currently sitting a point above the relegation zone in England’s third-tier, Ferguson Jr is excited for he and his men to take on one of the best in the country.

“In one-off games, cup matches, there’s always a chance. That’s what I’ll be saying to the players. If we got the result it would be fantastic to give them belief going into the next game,” the 45-year-old said.

“For me, as a one-off game, it would be my best-ever result. To go and beat a Premier League team in their own backyard.

“They may play their big-hitters like Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere. I would rather they did. As a manager and player you want to play against the best – absolutely 100 per cent.”

Should Doncaster topple Arsenal at the Emirates, it would be one of the most memorable cup upsets of all-time, made all the more special by Ferguson Sr watching his son get the better of his old nemesis.

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