Sam Allardyce vs Arsene Wenger: Old rivals reunite in crunch clashby Jack Kitson / 10 April 2017, 15:29Tweet
Over the years Sam Allardyce and Arsene Wenger have had their fair share of touchline spats, which only adds a sprinkling of spice to tonight’s crunch clash between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park, live on Monday Night Football.
Both managers are desperate for three points, for different reasons, with Arsenal gunning to reduce the gap between themselves and the top-4, while Palace are determined to move clear of the dreaded drop zone.
Arsenal are currently down in 6th, seven points adrift of 4th-placed Man City, albeit with a couple of games in hand. The Gunners have lost four of their last seven games, winning just two, and are in real danger of missing out on a top-4 finish for the first time since 1995/96.
It’s probably worth mentioning that those two wins were at home to travel-shy Hull, and a woefully out-of-form West Ham.
In fact, Arsenal have lost their last three games on the road - should they lose tonight they’ll equal a club record of four consecutive Premier League defeats - winning just one of their last seven away games since early December.
Down at the opposite end of the table you’ll find Crystal Palace in 16th.
The Eagles were in dire straits but four wins in five - including a stunning victory at Chelsea - has moved them club out of the relegation zone, although the mid-week 3-1 defeat at Southampton means they are just three points above the bottom-three, but they do have the advantage of two games in hand.
Meanwhile, Palace have only managed to record two triumphs in 13 top-flight clashes with Arsenal, however their recent victory at the Bridge gives them a big dose of confidence.
In terms of the managers, the duo have clashed a whopping 32 times in all competitions, failing to shake hands on a number of occasions following some heated games.
Arsene Wenger vs Sam Allardyce
- 32 Played
- 19 Wenger Wins
- 5 Allardyce Wins
- 8 Draws
While Allardyce’s record against Wenger is poor, losing nine of the last 10 league duels with his French foe, Palace have enjoyed some cracking wins of late, and he’ll be gunning to pile more misery on an out-of-form Arsenal, and under-fire Wenger.
Over the years Wenger has been incensed with Big Sam’s direct "bully boy" tactical approach to games, while the latter wrote in his autobiography:
"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.
"We drew with them or beat them more often than expected and Wenger couldn't handle it. 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."
Although, in fairness their relationship has improved in recent years, with Allardyce stating that he’ll miss Wenger when he’s gone...yeah yeah.