December 10 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, October 25, 2013
Arsene Wenger has given an given an alternative account to the ‘Pizzagate’ row as described by Sir Alex Ferguson in his tell-all autobiography and revealed he has no plans to pen a book of his own – yet.
The former Manchester United manager created a stir this week after his book hit the shelves.
In it the Scot takes swipes at a number of football figures he encountered during his 27-year career in charge at Old Trafford, but Wenger emerges relatively unscathed.
In the tome, Ferguson describes the infamous food-throwing aftermath of a game between the two clubs in October 2004 which saw United end the 49-game unbeaten run of Wenger’s Invincibles.
He revealed how he got covered in food during heated exchanges in the tunnel afterwards and wrote that he still does not know who threw the slice, though admitted he’d heard it was Cesc Fabregas.
Ferguson did however suggest that the incident created a division between him and Wenger that lasted five years.
That was not his recollection of the Frenchman though, who said: “Honestly, it’s difficult for me to answer any suggestion about this book because I didn’t read it – yet.
“The ‘Pizzagate’ [incident] was a little unrest in the corridor after the 49th game, refereed by Mike Riley, who is now responsible for the referees.
“I think that on that day he did not have his best day. That brought a lot of frustration because, on that day, Rio Ferdinand should have been [sent] off after 20 minutes.
“I believe that’s what’s created all the problems in the corridor. Yes, it was aggressive.
“To lose after such a long undefeated run, the way we lost was not acceptable for me and that’s why everybody was frustrated.
“I will read it but at the moment I am a bit busy.”
Since Ferguson’s retirement in the summer, Wenger has taken over his mantle as the longest serving manager in English football and the Frenchman initially admitted he had no plans to write his own autobiography, but quickly changed his mind.
“I say not at the moment, but maybe one day I will be inspired to do that,” he said in today’s pre-match conference ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace.
“I won’t say never but at the moment I don’t have that need at all.
“The past is history and history has to be written.
“In France we say it’s not only important to make history but to write history.
“It’s good. It’s a legacy of his career and I think that’s important, especially in England where, for 27 years, he was manager at Manchester United.
“It’s not anonymous. It’s huge what he has achieved.
“But it’s difficult for me to answer anything on the book because I would like to read it first.”
Ferguson’s other analysis of Wenger was that his softer side emerged after signing the likes of Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky and Andrey Arshavin.
“Do I have a soft side? Yes, of course,” Wenger said, adding: “I just try to buy good players.
“Sometimes the more technical players are not the biggest tacklers, but if they have both I’m very happy with it.
“Compared to the start of my career at Arsenal we have gone for different type of players.
“It was more coincidence than planned.”
But when asked if he felt he’d changed as a manager, Wenger said: “Not really, no.
“I have the same desire to win but the game has changed, that is for sure.
“The environment has changed and for the rest, when you’re a manager, what is important is to win the next game and that is exactly the same.”