Arsenal and Stoke City have developed the most peculiar of rivalries in recent years. When Ryan Shawcross’ tackle broke the leg of Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey manager Arsene Wenger, having already rowed with then Potters boss Tony Pulis on numerous occasions, labelled Stoke a ‘rugby team,’ a comment many fans at the Bet365 Stadium have taken exception to over the years since.
From that event has stemmed a spell of persistent abuse and poor luck in Staffordshire for the French manager, having not won there since February 2010.
The north Londoners make the trip in fine form, having won five of their last six in all competitions, including a gritty win over Southampton in mid-week where Wenger’s side recovered from a poor first half showing to take all three points from St. Mary’s.
With that in mind, the Gunners boss is ready to take all the abuse Stoke fans can hurl at him if it means keeping his side in the race for the top four and Champions League football.
Speaking on the abuse, Wenger told Mail Online:
“If the game is difficult for me and good for the team, I am very happy to take that,
“I believe that I forget about that and focus on the game always. That’s the most important.
“Stick your fingers in your ear if you don’t want to hear it,
“As an experienced manager, it shouldn’t affect you too much anyway.”