Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and his brand of football have received sincere praise from an unlikely source ahead of his 1000th game in charge of the club - old rival Sir Alex Ferguson.
Frenchman Wenger - who first took the reigns at Highbury back in 1996 - reaches that incredible milestone as his side travel to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and has rightfully been receiving generous plaudits from across the footballing community - including, it seems, arguably his greatest adversary who admitted his admiration for the club's playing style.
"I congratulate Arsene in reaching this momentous landmark. 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," he was quoted by The Daily Star.
"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 play the right way."
In a gushing tribute to his former enemy, Ferguson also went on to speak of the legacy Wenger has created and the special challenges that he always faced when the two came up against one another.
There have certainly been a number of highs and lows for Wenger during his 18-year stint with Arsenal and those heavyweight clashes with 'Fergie's' Manchester United were certainly up there with the most entertaining and frankly often outrageous of his lengthy managerial career.
Perhaps the most infamous example of the fierce rivalry that once existed between the two teams came with the 'Pizzagate' incident of 2004, when Ferguson was supposedly pelted with the stuff at Old Trafford after Manchester United had just managed to put an end to Arsenal's formidable 49-game unbeaten streak.
Another unsavoury incident between the two sides came a year earlier at the same venue, when Arsenal players drew a lot of criticism to their somewhat excited reaction to Ruud van Nistelrooy's missed injury-time penalty in a goalless draw between the two sides.
Wenger's 1000th match in charge of the Gunners certainly carries a lot of significance. Third-placed Arsenal trail leaders Chelsea by just four points in the race for the Premier League title and a win could obviously significant enhance their chances of ending a painful trophy drought.
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