Fergie raps Wenger over Fletcher slur
SIR Alex Ferguson has rebuked rival Arsene Wenger to open old wounds between the feuding pair on the eve of United's visit to Arsenal. The heated verbal jousting between the Scot and Frenchman had eased in recent years. But the entente cordiale was threatened in August after the Reds' 2-1 Old Trafford win against the Gunners. The Arsenal boss made an `anti-football' jibe at United's tactics and targeted Darren Fletcher with a thinly-veiled attack. Commenting after that game, he said: "I have seen a player who plays only on the pitch to make repeated fouls." When asked if Fletcher was the player in question, Wenger smiled knowingly. The Reds midfielder, who will celebrate his 26th birthday on Monday, has since complained that those words made him a marked man with referees. "That's where Arsene lets himself down really. It is just disappointing," said Sir Alex who take his troops to the Emirates tomorrow. "Everyone knows that Darren is not a dirty player or a physical player. He is not built that way. But he can win the ball. His timing and energy to get to the ball is fantastic. "You can't call that a fault. That is a great part of the game being able to tackle properly and he does tackle properly. "I don't think Arsene believes that for a minute. Maybe it was the disappointment. Sometimes it happens that way. I don't think he is destructive. He is competitive. I don't think there are many players who run off the ball as well as him in the game. His movement, energy and commitment in every game are wonderful to see a player achieving the level of endurance Darren can put in a match. He must run more than anyone.When his team gets the ball he moves instantly. He reminds me of Brian McClair in that way. He was exactly the same. When the ball moved he moved. Brian was a fantastic player for us in that way. Darren is in the same mould. His energy and awareness of space are excellent. We have been saying that for a while. There are not many big games Darren has not played in over the years but maybe it has taken a while for the fans and the press to appreciate his qualities. There is nothing you can do about that. It's probably because he is not a stylish player by any manner of means. He is ungainly and gangly. But he is a fantastic player. Whilst having a mild pop at Wenger Fergie issued warning to United fans to lay off the Frenchman. The Arsenal manager has been the subject of vile verbal abuse for Reds fans over the years. Fergie himself has previously complained about security at the Emirates around the dugouts when he was subjected to abuse from Arsenal fans. It is unavoidable the way that managers do get abused today. I get it myself, added Sir Alex. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. Sometimes I can't hear these chants, or make them out but I know there has been some terrible abuse from our fans towards Arsene Wenger. A line has to be drawn. They must know that themselves. They have to control that part. Our support, as it showed on Wednesday, there is none better. I was really proud of them on Wednesday. But they have a team to support. They don't need to worry about anyone else.
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