- Manchester United host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon
- Sir Alex Ferguson spoke of the rivalry between the two clubs ahead of the game
- The Scot says their famous battles help make the Premier League what it is
- Ferguson also acknowledges that Arsene Wenger helped revolutionise the game
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says his old club’s clashes with Arsenal ‘made the Premier League’.
The Gunners were one of United’s biggest rivals during Ferguson’s reign with their games often heated and fiercely competitive.
And the Scot still holds plenty of respect for old adversary Arsene Wenger despite their storied past.
Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United’s clashes with Arsenal ‘made the Premier League’
Ferguson and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had plenty of famous battles over the years
‘Although the Premier League started in 1992/93, that rivalry became the highlight of the league season,’ Ferguson told United’s official website.
‘Liverpool, without question, is the biggest fixture United ever got involved in, simply because of the history of both clubs: the two most successful clubs in Britain. I love those games, they’re fantastic.
‘I know that now the rivalry has changed a bit, with Man City doing well, but these are the games that any Man United player would love to be involved in now: against City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham. There are some great clubs and some fantastic competition in the Premier League now, but United against Arsenal was great for the game. It made the Premier League.’
United’s clashes with Arsenal were often heated and fiercely competitive
‘When Arsene came to Arsenal, he changed a lot of the eating habits and fitness regimes at the club,’ added Sir Alex. ‘He was ahead of the game at that particular time. We took examples, as we always tried to take examples from anybody who was improving.
‘It was like when you’re driving along the road: you have to be aware of somebody coming up in your wing mirror, trying to overtake you. That was the case with us and Arsenal for quite a few years.
‘Virtually every game we played against Arsenal, there was a real edge to the match. There were confrontations, because there were two teams and two managers battling for one award: the Premier League. In my time, we had a few arguments but I always did really respect the man because he did a fantastic job at his club.’
The Scot holds plenty of respect for old adversary Arsene Wenger despite their storied past