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English Premiership

Fergie lauds old foe Wenger

WENGER-FERGIELONDON, England, March 21- Sir Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on one of his oldest foes Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal boss prepares to take charge of his 1,000th game at the club’s helm.

The veteran French tactician will join an elite club of just three other members to have reached such a milestone with one club, namely Sir Matt Busby, Dario Gradi and Ferguson himself, when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

And Ferguson, who brought down the curtain on his 26-year career with Manchester United at the end of last season, has lauded Wenger’s achievements, the most notable of which came in 2004 when he led the Gunners through an undefeated Premier League campaign.

“Having also reached the same milestone at one club, I cannot emphasise enough the level of dedication, resilience as well as sacrifice required and for that I have for the utmost admiration.

“Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other’s efforts to play good football. I always enjoy watching Arsene’s sides – Arsenal play the right way.

“Playing against them always presented special challenges that I burned many hours over the years thinking about. He has always been a conscientious member of our trade who makes it his business to help other managers.

“Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Arsene is that I could never be anything other than competitive with my rival for 17 years.”

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