It was a case of the twilight zone at Old Trafford on Sunday, as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was warmly embraced by rivals Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson, to the applause of the home fans.
Of course, that is down to his imminent departure from the club at the end of the season after 22 years at the helm.
But there’s a prevailing feeling that such sentiments can afford to be expressed, given that Wenger and Arsenal aren’t the foremost threat to clubs such as United, and haven’t been for years (Arsenal outperforming United in recent years not withstanding).
Because people didn’t feel sorry for Fergie. They hated him because he was a fucking genius who saw them all off. It was relief when he went. With Wenger it’s just faux sympathy because he’s been tragic for a decade. https://t.co/NSnoIBiolw
— United Religion (@Unitedology) April 20, 2018
While the above is a harsh critique of Wenger, the man himself did acknowledge the reality in speaking after his side’s 2-1 defeat to the Red Devils today.
“It goes to show you, once you are not a danger any more, people love you,” Wenger said on his warm reception from the United fans and contingent.
“I am thankful to Manchester United. They had a nice gesture before the game, it was the first time I got a trophy before the game. It was very classy from them.
“I want to have a glass of wine now with Sir Alex because he has always good wine.”
This is what Sir Alex Ferguson presented Arsene Wenger before today’s game. pic.twitter.com/Txooua3D8R
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) April 29, 2018
A wonderful gesture made in good faith, perhaps.