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Wenger praised Manchester United’s 'classy' gesture on Sunday after he
was handed a commemorative gift by old rival Alex Ferguson ahead of his
final game at Old Trafford as Arsenal boss.
Wenger later joked that his generous reception before Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat was because he was no longer considered a "danger".
The veteran coach was taking charge of Arsenal for the final time at
the Theatre of Dreams, and for the first time since announcing he will
leave the Gunners at the end of the season following 22 years in charge.
To mark the occasion, Ferguson presented a vase to the 68-year-old Frenchman before kick-off.
Quizzed about the applause he received ahead of the game, Wenger replied: “When you’re not a danger any more, people love you.
"I am thankful to Manchester United because they had a nice gesture.
It is the first time I get a trophy before a game. It is very classy
Wenger chose an inexperienced side for the game, perhaps with an eye
on next week’s crucial Europa League semi-final second leg against
Atletico Madrid, his young charges losing out in stoppage time to
Marouane Fellaini’s header.
Still, the Arsenal boss said that whoever takes over from him at the Emirates will have some great young talent to choose from.
"My successor will watch this game and hopefully he will come to a
positive conclusion because I think they are the future of Arsenal
football club – some, 100%." Wenger said. "We had a very young
team and the performance was positive.
"The players are destroyed because they gave everything and were caught in the final minute.
"There were many question marks if we would be strong enough to fight
but the quality was good, the spirit was good, many players stood up.
We tired a bit in the last 20 minutes and were a bit more under
pressure. It was a negative result and a positive performance."
Meanwhile, Wenger remained non-committal when asked about whether he
would face off against United boss Jose Mourinho again next season.
"I don’t know, honestly. He will be at Manchester United next year certainly and I don’t know where I will be," he said.