Maybe I am just being cynical here, but when I hear people that have previously taken great delight in tormenting Arsenal and our manager change their tune and start to say nice things about Arsene Wenger and the club I cannot help but question their motives.
And Sam Allardyce, the current manager of Sunderland who will be the visiting team at the Emirates on Sunday, has a long and well established reputation of being one who has loved to get under the Frenchman’s skin, both with the style of football his teams have adopted against us and with the things he has said.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the former boss of Bolton, Stoke, Newcastle and West Ham did not try to pretend those past clashes had not occurred but he did try to distance himself from them and threw a bit of praise for his rival in as well.
Allardyce said, “I have had some good fun with him. Those early days were years and years ago and it’s been much more amicable, our meetings, not just on match days, but also off the field when we have bumped into each other.
“But I have always had a huge amount of respect for Arsene and his quality as a manager. Winding-up became a procedure that we all use if and when we feel it necessary.
“I have always thought he is a fantastic manager and he’s done a fantastic job. I might have wound him up a time or two, but never disrespected him.
“That’s a long time ago. It seems to be a part of the world of football sometimes and whether it makes a difference, I don’t know. People seem to think it did, so when the opportunity arose, if you felt it was the right thing to do, you did it.
“But at the end of the day, it’s about 11 v 11 on the field. I’m not so sure what you do when you wind a manager up that it makes a difference your players when they go out. I’m not so sure it does.
“But it’s also good publicity for you lot, isn’t it? We have to be worried about our image these days, don’t we? If we haven’t got the right image, then we are not very good managers, so we have to be careful.
“I’ve never won at Arsenal with any of my teams – drawn a few, but never won.
“The club has not won there since the ’80s when our kit man was in the squad and Paul Bracewell played, my assistant manager, so it shows you how long it’s been.
“But anything can happen on any day in the Premier League, so let’s hope it’s our day. Let’s hope we get a little bit of good fortune, let’s hope we play very, very well and if we can do all that, we might get a result.”
Yes mate and you might get a serious backlash from a wounded Arsenal as well. That would not have anything to do with you suddenly being nice to us would it? Don´t forget that we heard the same sort of thing from Jose Mourinho this season, strangely enough when his Chelsea team was bang in trouble, and how long did his nice guy impression last after the final whistle?