Arsene Wenger has suggested that a difficult atmosphere during the club’s home games has contributed to their failed Premier League title bid this season, pointing to fan unrest as a reason behind their inability to seize the top spot.
Though Arsenal has been in contention for the Premier League trophy this season, the threat eventually fizzled out as underdog Leicester continued to rack up victories. Now they’re looking to fight away opposition from Manchester United in order to hold onto their fourth place spot or risk losing out on Champion’s League football. This has led to fans protesting the management of the club, focusing on Wenger’s contributions in particular, with there set to be a protest held during the club’s upcoming match against Norwich this weekend.
Speaking of these protests, Wenger outlined his thoughts on the mounting pressure fans are putting on him and the club, saying: “It is very frustrating because we were in a position for a very long time where we could compete for the title. We won the FA Cup in 2014, the Charity Shield [sic] and FA Cup in 2015, and we wanted to go another step up and win the league. It wasn’t possible, which is why we are frustrated. I can understand the frustration because no one is more frustrated than we are. But we must protect what we have and go for what we can still achieve. Our disappointment can’t go too far.
However, Wenger then added that this pressure may be contributing to the club’s poor performance, comparing the difference between Arsenal’s home and away results. The manager continued: “We lost the championship at home against the lower teams – we have the best record against the top clubs – but we played at home in a very difficult climate. We have to realize that, away from home, we are championship winners. At home, against the smaller teams, we lost the league.”
Arsenal is hoping to secure a win against Norwich at Emirates Stadium in order to continue its lead over Manchester United, who will play league leader Leicester this weekend. Manchester City, who shares the same amount of points as Arsenal in third place, will take on Southampton.