Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has branded Arsene Wenger "arrogant" and Rafa Benitez "superior" in his new autobiography.
Former Bolton boss Allardyce claims he enjoyed nothing more than beating Wenger's Arsenal when in charge at the Reebok Stadium—from 1999 to 2007.
The Gunners often struggled against Allardyce's Trotters—they lost three and drew five of 12 Premier League meetings—and Allardyce wrote in Big Sam, The Autobiography that he relished the challenge of facing Wenger, via the Sun:
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. Of course, Arsenal beat us sometimes, but 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. He's not one for inviting you into his office for a drink after games. He's a fantastic manager, I cannot deny that. But the more I could wind him up, the more I liked it.
Allardyce, 60, was appointed as the new Black Cats boss on Friday following the resignation of Dick Advocaat—Sunderland are currently 19th in the Premier League table.
In his previous spells in charge at Bolton, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United he has rarely been praised for his style of play, but he has never been relegated from the Premier League, per the Mail on Sunday's Craig Hope.
The physicality and aggression of his sides has often been criticised, and Allardyce has accused Wenger of trying to influence referees by creating a perception in the media that his Bolton side were "bullies," per the Sun.
In a similar fashion, Benitez mocked Allardyce's Blackburn for their overly-physical style of play back in 2010 when he was in charge of Liverpool.
According to Allardyce, the current Real Madrid manager did not like him and thought that he was superior, per the Sun: "Here was a trendy foreign manager with all his smart ideas getting beat by some oik from the Midlands. Benitez wouldn't talk to me at all and that just made it all the better when we won."
Controversially, Allardyce also insists Liverpool's surprising 2005 Champions League win had nothing to do with Benitez and everything to do with Steven Gerrard's immense performance in the final against AC Milan.
Unsurprisingly, this opinion has been questioned by some, per the Independent's Sam Wallace:
Allardyce is an effective and entertaining manager, and his return to the Premier League should be a boost for Sunderland.
While he will not be facing Benitez any time soon in his new role at the Stadium of Light, he will renew hostilities with Wenger on December 5, when the Black Cats travel to the Emirates in the Premier League.
On current form, Arsenal should be heavy favourites for the clash. However, given the history between the two managers, Sunderland and Allardyce could spring a shock when the north London clash rolls around.