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Arsene Wenger's rivalries as Arsenal manager


Arsene Wenger, left, and Sir Alex Ferguson, right, had a heated rivalry

Arsene Wenger, left, and Sir Alex Ferguson, right, had a heated rivalry

Arsene Wenger, left, and Sir Alex Ferguson, right, had a heated rivalry

Arsene Wenger has agreed a new two-year deal as Arsenal manager.

The Frenchman has been in charge of the Gunners for over two decades, during which time he won over plenty of people who were unfamiliar with him when he first arrived at the club's former home Highbury in 1996.

But as well as making many friends, Wenger has been involved in some of the most high-profile managerial feuds in the Premier League era and here, Press Association Sport looks at those battles as well as Wenger's record against each rival.

SIR ALEX FERGUSON (Manchester United)

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Before Roman Abramovich's billions turned Chelsea into Premier League contenders, many of the previous years had been a duel between Wenger's Arsenal and Ferguson's United.

The clashes between the pair were the heavyweight contests of the season and often led to the drama spilling into the dugouts - with the overall record showing just how evenly-matched their sides often were.

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Their rivalry came to a head in 2004 when United ended Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten run. Clashes outside the dressing room after the fiery contest saw pizza thrown over Ferguson, who revealed in his autobiography that the rift was not healed until after a Champions League semi-final in 2009 when Wenger congratulated his contemporary on beating the Gunners.

Speaking last November, Wenger said he had "very, very, very heated moments" with Ferguson but now he is "happy to see him" as they share a glass of wine.

JOSE MOURINHO (Chelsea, Manchester United)

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With Wenger and Ferguson's rivalry long established, Mourinho arrived onto the scene at Stamford Bridge and upset the established order - as well as both the Arsenal and United bosses.

But it was against Wenger that Mourinho would focus plenty of his words, even during his press conference after being appointed as United manager himself last summer.

The Portuguese memorably labelled Wenger a "voyeur" and a "specialist in failure", while the Arsenal boss questioned the tactics of some Mourinho sides.

Their rivalry escalated to a physical one when Wenger pushed Mourinho during a 2-0 Chelsea win in 2014, just months after his 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners saw them humbled 6-0 by Mourinho's Blues.

SAM ALLARDYCE (Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham, Crystal Palace)

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A hard-nosed manager who cut his teeth in the lower leagues, Allardyce rubbed Wenger up the wrong way - with their relationship not helped by the fact his Bolton team became Arsenal's bogey side.

Between 2003 and 2006, Allardyce's Trotters played eight games against Arsenal and lost only once as Wenger's teams struggled to deal with their direct approach.

Allardyce said in his recent autobiography that Wenger "takes it all very personally and has an air of arrogance" while in 2003, Bolton delivered a blow to Arsenal's title hopes by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 with the Gunners and hand the advantage in a tight title race to United.

Wenger, who has since defended Allardyce after his controversial sacking from the England post, said he was "scarred for life" by that defeat - with their last meeting also ending in Allardyce's favour as his Crystal Palace side secured a 3-0 win in April.

TONY PULIS (Stoke, Crystal Palace, West Brom)

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As with Allardyce, Wenger was not competing with Pulis for honours in the same way as his battles with Ferguson and Mourinho - the pair had issues with one another's approach to the game over the years.

Their rivalry came to a head in February 2010 when Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross broke Aaron Ramsey's leg in a tackle Wenger labelled "horrendous".

Wenger brandished Pulis' approach as "rugby" tactics as the Potters often rattled Arsenal when they visited Staffordshire, with the Welshman replying that Wenger is only "perceived to be a genius".

Again relations have softended, with Wenger saying his one-time nemesis "made a miracle" by keeping Crystal Palace in the top flight.

Wenger would again end up on the losing side as West Brom recorded a 3-1 victory in March courtesy of an unexpected Craig Dawson brace.

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