Alex Neil is a paid-up member of the Arsene Wenger fan club ahead of Norwich City’s Arsenal tussle

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is one of the greats for Norwich City rival Alex Neil. Photo: Anthony

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is one of the greats for Norwich City rival Alex Neil. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Alex Neil is a fully paid-up member of the Arsene Wenger fan club, as the Norwich City boss prepares to get the better of Arsenal's legendary boss.

Neil was just three years old when Wenger embarked on his first foray in management in his native France, but the Premier League's youngest operator is well aware of the 66-year-old's stellar achievements at the Gunners.

'I would like to think I could manage at 66. I want to try and be involved in the game as long as I can but I need to take care of this job first and make sure I do as well as I can to get there,' said Neil.' It is a long time, I might not be alive never mind managing. Maybe I will have had enough and be retired by then. It is not even the longevity that I admire. It is the way his teams play. The way they play is fantastic to watch as a football fan. You want to see teams be expressive and expansive and open the game up to entertain. I don't think there is any better than Arsenal.

'The reason he is regarded as one of the best-ever managers who has been in the game is that ability to keep turning teams around over a number of years and still be successful and challenging at the top end, yet keep that philosophy and build on it and grow it.'

Wenger has had his critics recently for failing to land the Premier League title but Neil insists he is still a visionary.

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'He is extremely experienced, he has been there, seen it and done, but in terms of using modern methods and techniques Arsenal would be one of the pioneers of that and trying to take the game forward,' said Neil. 'In terms of his style and how he does things he is very up-to-date. It is a tough task for us but one I am looking forward to and so are the players.'

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