Reports are out claiming that Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has insisted his feud with Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger is now a thing of the past.
Allardyce has revealed the pair now have an “amicable” relationship as they prepare to meet at the Emirates Stadium in the Barclays Premier league on Saturday.
He said with a smile: “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.”