London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is arrogant and a bad
loser who tries to influence referees through the media, the Frenchman's newly
appointed Sunderland counterpart Sam Allardyce has said.
Allardyce, who makes the comments in his new autobiography,
serialised in The Sun, reveals the depth of loathing between himself and
Wenger, who have been at odds ever since the Englishman was in charge of Bolton
"I enjoyed beating Arsenal more than anyone when I was
in charge at Bolton," Allardyce said.
"We'd really got to them and Arsene Wenger hated us.
"There was one time he wouldn't shake hands with me at
Highbury because we got a draw there. I saw him ripping his tie off and
throwing it on the floor in anger.
Also read: Allardyce says West Ham tenure will be decided on Monday
"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
"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
"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."
Allardyce also takes a dig at Rafa Benitez, formerly of
Liverpool and now at Real Madrid, saying the Spaniard deserves no credit for
winning the Champions League with the Merseyside club in 2005.
"Of course he (Benitez) can say he won the Champions
League with Liverpool, which is something I never did. But it was nowt to do
"Steven Gerrard took that final by the scruff of the
neck and dragged Liverpool back from 3-0 down against AC Milan to eventually
win on penalties," Allardyce said.
"I don't blame Benitez for claiming credit -- but as
managers we know the truth.
"It's like when you make a substitution in desperation
and it comes off. You get all the credit for your tactical brilliance when it's
often just luck."For
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