Wenger: Criticism ‘a bit overboard’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended his record at the club, revealing he has stayed at the club under some trying circumstances.

The 66-year-old Frenchman is facing criticism from a large section of the club’s supporters, with many criticising the lack of silverware collected by the club in recent years.

However, Wenger says he had no other option but to pen a five-year contract with the London outfit to ensure they obtained the necessary finances to build their new stadium.

Added to that, the former Monaco boss pointed to the fact that he turned down several offers to move away from the club.

“When we built the stadium the banks demanded that I signed for five years,” said Wenger. “Do you want me to say how many clubs I turned down during that period?

“I did commit and I stayed, and under very difficult circumstances.

“So for me to come back and, on top of that, (critics) reproach me for not having won the championship during that period, it is a bit overboard.”

In terms of the Gunners’ performances this season, Wenger feels the negativity from Arsenal fans has not helped their form at home.

He added: “We have to realise that away from home we are championship winners. At home, against the smaller teams, we dropped the points.

“It is very frustrating because we were in a position for a long, long time where we could compete for the title.

“We are disappointed but we have to fight. We have not to forget that in football you go down very quickly and you come up very slowly. We have to stick together.

“I can understand the frustration of our fans but despite that we want to support our team and the best chance you can give to a team is to be behind them.