Sam Allardyce: Why I enjoy beating ‘arrogant’ Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says he loves winding up Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Sam Allardyce says he loves beating Arsenal more than any other Premier League club.
The newly-appointed Sunderland manager has a long-running rivalry with the Frenchman during spells with Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United.
There was one time he wouldn’t shake hands with me at Highbury because we got a draw. I saw him ripping his tie off and throwing it on the floor in anger
Allardyce, who quit West Ham in the summer, signed a two-year contract on Friday to become the first manager to take charge of Newcastle United and Sunderland.
Writing in his Sun column on Tuesday morning, the new Sunderland boss described Arsenal manager Wenger as “arrogant”.
“I enjoyed beating Arsenal more than anyone when I was in charge at Bolton. We’d really got to them and Arsene Wenger hated us,” Allardyce wrote in his new book which is extracted in The Sun.
“There was one time he wouldn’t shake hands with me at Highbury because we got a draw. I saw him ripping his tie off and throwing it on the floor in anger.
“He takes it all very personally and has an air of arrogance. He’s not one for inviting you into his office for a drink after the game.
“The more I wound him up, the more I liked it. He tried to influence refs through the media and create a perception that we were bullies committing all the fouls, while his team just wanted to play.
“It seemed he wanted a rule where they should be allowed to do what they wanted with the ball, without us being allowed to tackle them.
“It was a skill finding their weaknesses and how to exploit them. But when we succeeded the press were usually on about Arsenal having an off-day and the ref being soft.”
Arsenal were 3-0 winners against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium in their most-recent Premier League fixture.
The north London side are in second place in the table and two points behind current English leaders Manchester City.
Wenger’s second-placed side make the trip to newly-promoted Watford in their next top-flight outing on Saturday afternoon.
The Gunners haven’t won the Premier League title since 2004.