Stoke City vs Arsenal: Arsene Wenger says abuse he gets at Britannia worse than Tottenham

The Gunners' boss believes the reception he gets is worse than in the north London derby

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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger believes the hostility he gets from Stoke City fans is worse than he faces at Tottenham.

The Arsenal manager offered his opinion in the build-up to today’s clash at the Britannia Stadium. Arsenal and Stoke have a long history of antipathy which included the Frenchman’s description of Stoke’s playing style, under their former manager Tony Pulis, as “rugby” tactics.

However, Wenger believes the real hostility dates back to the controversial fall-out when Aaron Ramsey suffered a broken leg after a challenge from Ryan Shawcross in February 2010.

Wenger called it “horrendous” and challenged the FA to take action, earning him long-standing ire from the local support. Asked this week whether he senses more personal antipathy at Stoke than anywhere else, Wenger agreed.

“I don’t mind too much for that,” he said. “I think the major incident was not that [rugby] comment. The major incident was Ramsey. That’s where it started. I don’t know [why they still boo]. You should ask them. I don’t bully them.”

Asked specifically whether that reception is worse than during the north London derby, he said: “It is maybe more aggressive, yes.”