Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes Arsene Wenger’s longevity at Arsenal is a sign of great success, despite the Frenchman failing to win the Premier League in over a decade.
The Dutchman will lock horns with Wenger at Old Trafford on Sunday, having guided United to the top of the Premier League after seven games.
By contrast, Wenger is once again under pressure in the Emirates Stadium hotseat, with Tuesday’s defeat to Olympiacos leaving Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League progression hanging by a thread.
Van Gaal, though, was quick to point out that Wenger – who celebrated 19 years as Arsenal manager this week – should be lauded for his longevity in an industry that has become increasingly unstable through his reign.
“I think that he is doing great work,” Van Gaal said. “When you can, like Sir Alex Ferguson, stay in a club for such a long time you have to be very good. Otherwise you shall not succeed.
“I think Arsene Wenger is one of the best coaches of this world. Sir Alex Ferguson is the best because he won the most titles.
“It’s easy to say that [about Arsenal not winning the league] but, Arsene Wenger, when you are such a long time with one club and everybody is satisfied – the fans, the board, the players – then you are very good, believe me.
“I hope for you that you are such a long time with the same paper!”
When asked if he himself could persist with such a barren run, Van Gaal added: “That’s difficult to answer because I have won a lot of titles and that’s also my aim and I want to do it in different countries.
“Not only in the Netherlands, but after that in Spain, after that in Germany and after that in England – that’s my ambition. I’m not that type.”