Team Spirit Gives Fergie The Edge Over Wenger

COS’s reader submission section,”From The Terraces” brings you an email from Graham, who responds to the Ferguson vs. Wenger debate raging over yonder.

Ferguson vs. Wenger is a debate that will never end. You’re going to get lots of arguments for Fergie because of the amount of trophies he’s won and lots of arguments for Wenger because of what he’s done with a limited budget and his ability to spot potentially great players that are unknown.

So, I’ll leave that for the others to argue about. I’ll tell you why Fergie gets my vote:

The reason for all Man Utd’s success in the last 12 years comes down to the reasons why we were so successful back in the 50’s/60’s – the spirit of the club manifested by the focus on youth development. Fergie brought back the focus that Sir Matt Busby concentrated on all those years ago. When Fergie came to United, he didn’t just try and put a team together that would win things over the next couple of years. He was laying the foundations for longevity. He revived the great spirit of the club. It’s amazing how often he is judged for all sorts of other reasons – both good and bad – but his dedication to the spirit of Man Utd always gets overlooked.

It’s that sense of close knit family/community – ‘we stick together through thick and thin’ – that Fergie has re-installed into the club. Yes he has ruthlessly dispatched a few players along the way but that is because they have either gone against that spirit – Jaap Stam with the book, David Beckham with his celebrity circus – or their attitude has changed.

Not only has his focus been on youth development but also there has always been that core of Britishness. Wenger on the other hand always goes foreign. In that sense, the Arsenal values, the heritage will get more and more diluted and lost.

You only have to think about how many players have chosen to leave Man Utd in Fergie’s reign to understand the spirit he has installed. The only player I can think of is Ruud Van Nistelrooy and even he didn’t want to go in the end. Ronaldo thought about it but not any more. Arsenal on the other hand – Vieira, Cole, Reyes, Campbell just in the last couple of years.

No argument as far as I’m concerned.

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