Sir Alex Ferguson has been through a lot in his 25 years as manager of Manchester United. Through a combination of man management, manipulating the press, psychology and outwitting opponents through his often surprising team selections, the Scot has continually found ways to overcome adversity while in charge of his Manchester United squad. Somehow, I have a feeling that Fergie would have some wise words for Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side who are deep in crisis or going through a shaky period, depending how you evaluate what’s happening at the Emirates Stadium nowadays.
The question is, what would Fergie say if he was in Wenger’s shoes?
Arsenal’s current plight is a situation that I believe Ferguson would revel in. If Fergie was in Wenger’s shoes, he would use UEFA’s cracking down on Arsenal (giving Wenger a two-match ban for passing notes in the Udinese game) as evidence that “UEFA is out to get Arsenal” and to use that victimization complex as a way to motivate his players. When UEFA “is out to get you,” the next best thing to do is to stuff it in their faces by winning against all adversities.
If Fergie was in Wenger’s shoes, he would be getting a ton of mileage out of the papers and TV this week by manipulating the press to impact the psychology of the side’s next two opponents (Udinese and, coincidentally, Manchester United). Udinese, despite being 1-0 down after the first leg in qualification for the Champions League, find themselves at home on Wednesday with an excellent opportunity to defeat the Gunners. The Italian side was unlucky not to score at the Emirates Stadium. Plus, Arsenal are stil suffering from injuries and suspension, so Udinese find themselves with a golden opportunity to knock Arsenal into the Europa League.
Speaking of injuries and suspensions, you would certainly believe that Fergie — if he was in Wenger’s shoes — would remind everyone how depleted his side was, and would publicly praise some of the young recruits who would be replacing the injured and suspended footballers.
Ferguson is the type of manager who would thrive in Wenger’s current predicament. He would come out fighting and would expect his team members to do the same.
Could Ferguson do a better job that Wenger if he was in the Frenchman’s shoes? I believe he could. But what do you think? Share your opinion in the comments section below.