Mikael Silvestre reveals key difference between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Former Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson and Wenger are two of the most decorated Premier League managers (Picture: Getty)

Ex-Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre has admitted Arsene Wenger was a lot more hands-on in training than Sir Alex Ferguson, who would spend time away from the pitch scouting players and meeting agents.

The former France international had spells under both legendary Premier League managers who had sustained success in English football with completely contrasting styles.

During his nine-year spell at United, Silvestre won four league titles, an FA and Champions League trophy, before making the move to the Emirates Stadium in 2008.

But while the 42-year-old only played under Wenger for two seasons, he saw big differences in the two managers’ approaches.

He told Stadium Astro: ‘Arsene would be on the pitch every day, coaching, preparing the sessions and running the sessions with the assistants, but he’s in charge.

‘Whereas Sir Alex was passing the responsibility to the assistant and first-team coach.

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‘In terms of reviewing and talking to the players after the games, evaluating the performances, Sir Alex is straight after in the dressing room.

‘Whereas Arsene would wait [until] the next day, reflect, watch and then talk to us at the training centre. Sometimes you would wait two days to get his assessment and views on the game, he would rarely talk after the game.’

Arsene Wenger was famed for his attacking approach to football, dubbed ‘Wengerball’, which Silvestre admitted was a joy to play.

He added: ‘I enjoyed his vision, the way he was preparing, it was all about Arsenal the way we play, it doesn’t matter about who we face we always want to play quality football on the ground with short passes and progress forward in a nice way.’

Ferguson would go several days without taking a training session due to his commitments off the pitch, where he effectively filled the role of a director of football.

Silvestre continued: ‘It was a different model, it used to work with Sir Alex because sometimes he wouldn’t come to training for 2-3 days and he was probably scouting and meeting agents doing all the other parts of the role.

‘That’s when Steve McClaren, Carlos Queiroz, Brian Kidd would take charge of training and it would be business as usual even if the gaffer wasn’t there.’

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