Arsene Wenger says that Sir Alex Ferguson’s defence of his record at Arsenal is “welcome”.
Wenger has come under significant scrutiny this season, with the Gunners failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1997.
They may yet win the FA Cup in this weekend’s final with Chelsea, but many Arsenal fans now want Wenger to leave when his deal expires this summer.
Ferguson, one of his managerial adversaries during the Scot’s time at Manchester United, backed the Frenchman earlier this week.
“The most amazing thing about him is this: he has come through a forest of criticism for months now, and has never bowed. He has seen it right through, he has shown a determination, a stubbornness. I think when you look at that, it’s a quality, and I’m not sure they’ll ever get another manager like that,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s quite easy to say ‘Get rid of him’, but who do you get? Who do you get in to keep that club the way they are for the next 20 years?”
Speaking on Wednesday, Wenger thanked his former foe for the kind words.
“It’s welcome, because he knows the difficulties of the job,” he said.
“I don’t think I will match him on that front. But he did extremely well and what he did in 26 years is absolutely exceptional. The average life expectancy of a manager is 18 months.”