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Published: 15:29 | 28/5/16

Ferguson defends former rival Wenger

Claims Gunners boss sticks to his footballing principles

Sir Alex Ferguson has praised old rival Arsene Wenger, saying he admires the Arsenal manager for sticking to his football principles.

The pair endured a famously fractious relationship as Manchester United and Arsenal vied for Premier League supremacy, but things did improve towards the end of the Scot's tenure at Old Trafford.

Wenger has endured a difficult season at Arsenal, with some fans calling for his resignation after the Gunners failed to mount a serious challenge for the title once again.

However, Ferguson has been quick to defend his one-time rival for whom he has a deep respect.

"He has been fantastic," the former United boss is quoted as saying in the Champions League 2016 final programme.

"Now he gets a lot of criticism, but I admire that you're not going to bend to the will of the critics. He stays with what he believes in. And I think people who do that are outstanding coaches.

"When you talk about consistency, Arsene's never changed the way that his side has played.

"I think he inherited a team when he first came to Arsenal with Steve Bould and Martin Keown and Tony Adams - fantastic warriors - but his team evolved when they started getting players like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Emmanuel Petit and Sylvain Wiltord.

"There was a change in the culture of the team. They became a magnificent team. Arsene has never changed in the type of player he wants or the sort of play he wants.

"It's always about penetration from runners off the ball, good passes into angles for the strikers."

By: Kieran O'Daly

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