We shouldn’t laugh but it’s hard.
Arsenal fans have been working themselves into a furious lather after listening to Tony Pulis reflect on Stoke City ‘s run-ins with Arsene Wenger’s lot during his time as manager.
Pulis had the hoodoo over Wenger in the Potteries and Wenger didn’t like it one bit.
“I always want angles to get players motivated, to put fire into their bellies and something for the supporters to feed off,” said Pulis when he appeared as a guest on Peter Crouch’s That Peter Crouch Podcast.
“When Wenger first said it, called us a rugby team, it was the third time on the bounce we had beaten them at home. He was avoiding the question of how could a team with much less talent than Arsenal, who don’t spend anywhere near as much as Arsenal, who haven’t got the facilities and capabilities of Arsenal, keep beating Arsenal.
“Patrick Vieira told me, ‘We used to hate going to Stoke. You were the only club that Wenger actually talked about and worked on before. We just couldn’t beat you.’
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“Wenger came one year and complained about the grass being too long. He wrote a letter to the FA. The referees and the linesmen had to come and measure the grass. I know he talked about banning throw-ins and saying they shouldn’t be allowed. That was all music to our ears.”
Just like Wenger didn’t help himself by getting wound up by Stoke and Stoke fans, it’s still happening with his old disciples.
Arsenal supporters have been clattering their keyboards to bombard the BBC with feedback.
Most are unprintable but all would make Pulis chuckle.
John Small said: “Wenger then disappeared into obscurity taking up a minor position with a small organization called FIFA while Pulis hit the BIG TIME being invited onto the Peter Crouch podcast. Not sure Wenger would even waste his breath talking about Tony Pulis today. There are levels to this!
“Football manager extraordinaire! At least he (and maybe his mother) thought he was.”
Tommy King said: “Tony Trophies Pulis. I am sure Mr Invincible will struggle to sleep tonight. If he even remembers who you are.”
Super Thom said: “It’s that time, Pulis is dining off a few throw-ins again.”
Mark Hewitt said: “Manager can’t get a job anymore because his tactics are boring and outdated makes up rubbish to keep his name in the public eye.”
Ban Dog said: “By beat, he means kick off the park with violence and a complete lack of tactical nous or footballing skill.”
Ladakovich said: “Must be one of the worst managers in football.”
Naija Guy said: “How stupid does this rubbish sound. Iswas Wenger the football governing body? This has-been manager is just seeking attention, has he ever won a trophy in all his managerial career?”
Emzel said: “When did Vieira ever lined up against Stoke City? And imagine thinking Vieira of all people would have been scared of some long throw merchants. He would have no problem smashing them to pieces.”
You get the gist.
Stoke supporters, it is fair to say, have different memories of how Wenger, his defenders and his supporters got the annual jitters.
Chris Smart said: “Wenger did us a massive favour if you think about it. Made the Brit a real fortress.”
Joy Findler said: “My god he did hate the Brit and didn’t we make him welcome.”
Denis Bedson: “Great times! TP is a legend and never forget what he did for us.”
Stuart Grainger said: “Yep, he hated us and we thrived off that.”
Dylan Wright said: “Very rare we’d have a bad day when arsenal came to town.”
Gareth Eardley said: “Swing low, sweet chariot.”
Jonny Oatcake said: “Good times, I want them back so much. The hatred Arsenal fans had for us was hilarious.”