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Monday, 22 September 2008

If United didn't, would you prefer Arsenal won the Premiership?

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have had more battles than Gordon Brown and Tony Blair over the past decade so it was surprising to hear Fergie praise the Gunners ahead of the crunch game against Chelsea at the weekend.

The fiery Scot was quoted in the Daily Mirror to have said that if the Red Devils couldn't retain the Premiership title this season that he'd prefer the Gunners won it ahead of Chelsea or Liverpool. Now was this just Fergie playing mind games before visiting Stamford Bridge or could the Premiership's elder statesmen be forming some sort of alliance?

It goes without saying that Fergie would rather hell froze over than Liverpool win their first Premiership title, especially after last weekend's defeat at Anfield. And then there's moneybags Chelsea. Although Phil Scolari has got his vastly talented squad playing entertaining football they still won't be respected by the majority of fans due to the fact that Roman Abramovich has bankrolled the club for the past five years. Which leaves Arsenal as the lesser of all evils I guess.

Despite failing to win a major honour since beating Manchester United on penalties to lift the FA Cup in 2005 and losing a number of top stars, Arsene Wenger has never changed his football philosophy. The Gunners led the title race last season against the so-called expert opinions of pundits and bookies alike and if it weren't for a build up of injuries, poor refereeing decision and a lack of form, who knows, maybe they would have pipped United to the title last season. Wenger has an enormous amount of faith in his young guns, is never afraid to throw them in at the deep end, and has refused to buy players just to please fickle fans and the media. And Ferguson has undoubtedly been impressed by The Professor's principles.

Over the years, Ferguson and Wenger have failed to see eye-to-eye on a number of subjects and that intense rivalry often manifested itself on to the pitch and in to the dressing rooms afterwards with some pizza thrown in for good measure! However, following Mourinho's arrival they had somebody else to dislike and their own personal feud has kind of died down. So much so that they can often be found praising each other in the media. They also both publicly spoke out in support of Kevin Keegan and Alan Curbishley's decisions to walk away from Newcastle United and West Ham United respectively over transfer interference. Maybe age is starting to mellow the two!

But is Fergie's admission that he'd rather Arsenal won the league over their other rivals an honest opinion or does he simply believe that the Gunners, who are currently top of the league, aren't serious title material and just playing mind games with everyone?

I'd like to give the former Aberdeen manager the benefit of the doubt this time because there's no doubt in my mind that Arsenal and Manchester United are the best two footballing teams in the country. Regardless of what team you support, if you were asked to name the most entertaining and exciting team in England over the past few years you'd have to go for either of these two massive clubs. And despite his razor sharp comments directed at Arsenal over the years I believe Fergie admires the way the Gunners play the game and would definitely prefer a proper football team to win the Premiership.

Everyone knows the rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool, so I guess there's no way anyone from Manchester would want Rafa's Reds to win the Premiership, and nobody really respects Chelsea for throwing their money at achieving success - although that might change now with City's sheiks on board - so do United fans agree with Fergie? If you were to lose your grip on the Premiership season who would you prefer to be champions and why? We'd love to hear from you.

COMMENTS

Tom

I would say so. I think the rivalry between both clubs (Manchester United and arsenal) is the greatest in the Premier League but I respect them more than the others.

Holloway Harry

Yes especially the fans of Liverpool, chelsea, west ham, oh and our friends the Totts would all love Arsenal to win the league. You can also add the oiks of Bolton to that list as well.

guess

For me the question should be rephrased to ' if Arsenal.........?' and in a reply to that that I'd say anyone but utd, [Chelsea] and [Tottenham]

fred

The intense rivalry between arsenal and manchester united has mellowed recently - which i am happy about so that we can focus all our vitriol at tottenham. One thing about ferguson is that he never had a personal dig at wenger unlike the peasant mourinho who had absolutely no class - which meant he fitted in well at chelsea

Bryan

No I wouldn't, if United didn't win the league, I wouldn't be happier with any other big team winning it. If it were possible, if United didn't win it, i'd rather see Aston Villa doing so. I have no respect for Arsenal fans and since I'm sure most of them would also rather anyone but United win the league, i don't have to say I'd rather see them win either.

kalule yasin

yes i agree with our coach,arsenal than chelsea o liverpool

Dave

Alex and Wenger rivalry always look to me to be more like a show for the media than actual dislike for each. I reckon behind close doors they probably best mates, who occasional let their rivalry get out of hand.

ARIJIT

gunners will surely win the double this year.the question is wat else will they win ?

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