WENGER CALLS FOR ANGRY ARSENAL FANS TO UNITE AS SEASON IS NOT YET OVER.
Arsene Wenger has ordered Arsenal’s players to ‘show what they’re made of’ and ordered the supporters to ‘stick together’ as their Premier League season teeters on the brink of collapse.
Successive defeats have left Wenger’s side 12 points behind Chelsea and, in all probability, out of the running for top spot.
That has led to increasing unrest in the stands, with Wenger the central target of the anger, but Arsenal’s manager remains convinced that a turnaround in form is possible ahead of Saturday’s clash with Hull – and he’s asked supporters to follow the example set by Tottenham regulars this term.
He said: ‘Of course, our fans have been consistent and have a high level of expectation, as I have as well. But I don’t feel it is absolutely clear.
‘You cannot be a fan until last Tuesday and not be a fan any more and not be behind the team this Saturday, it doesn’t make sense.
‘All the other clubs, everywhere we fight with Man United, Man City, Liverpool… they have big expectations as well and big histories. We are in a fight there, we absolutely have to be united or we have no chance to do it.
‘You have Tottenham, everyone is in the fight and everyone is behind their team. We have to do exactly the same, even if we had two disappointing results.
‘It’s been a difficult week. We are here to win football games so when we don’t win football games we are very disappointed.
‘But it’s as well an interesting week because it’s a good test at an important moment of the season and it’s as well a good opportunity to show what we are made of and to deal with what matters to us – what is at stake and in front of us in the next game.
We have a big fight in the Premier League, a big fight in the Champions League, with a big game coming up, and we still have the FA Cup as well. We want to do well in all three competitions and that’s as well why it’s important that we focus, respond and get our fans behind the team, because this is an important and very sensitive part of the season – and we have to respond to disappointment together.
‘It’s never over (the title race). We cannot behave like that. Even if you think it is, I don’t. We cannot even think like that.
Supporter disillusionment could yet be a factor in whether Wenger opts to stay at the club beyond this summer.
He addressed the issue of increasingly unhappy fans on Thursday, saying: ‘I think that in the football club it’s important that you have different opinions – yes, that always happens.
‘But what is important and what matter to us is not the opinions of people, what matters is the next result and how we respond to difficult situation. We fight with teams who have not invested much more than we have and this is a period where we have to stick together and focus and respond.’
Wenger confirmed that Mohamed Elneny is fit again and Hector Bellerin will have an assessment on Friday after suffering a concussion in the defeat at Chelsea last weekend.