Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger silences his critics for now after Norwich City Premier League win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Arsene Wenger is adamant his winning legacy at Arsenal deserves more respect after fan protests marred the Gunners' 1-0 Premier League win over Norwich City.
Small pockets of home supporters held up placards proclaiming messages such as 'time for change' after another failed title bid.
Wenger has won three Premier League titles and six FA Cups in nearly two decades at the helm but the Frenchman's failure to land a top flight crown since his all-conquering 'Invincibles' of 2003/04 is proving too much for some.
'I am a professional who has given 19 years to this club. I have to accept the judgement of people,' he said. 'The only thing I don't doubt is my sincere commitment. After that I am sorry if I cannot keep 100pc of the people happy. Maybe it is because we have been remarkably consistent. This season was a bit special because we were in a position for a long time where our fans believed we could win the league. We didn't and that's why I think it's more disappointed love than real aggression.
'We were warned about the protestors. You want to make the fans happy. I'm sorry if I don't achieve it. I'm irritated and frustrated if I cannot keep people happy. I have respect for the club and gave so much for the club. I think this season we hoped that we could win the league. It didn't happen and that's why people are frustrated. I can share that frustration. The aim is to come back and do what is needed to do it next year. The last three years the club has moved forward.'
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Wenger admitted it was a surreal occasion at the Emirates, with those detractors swiftly drowned out by majority backing for the Premier League's longest-serving manager.
'It was a bit of a strange atmosphere. I think the fans were behind the team and I believe as well we did not have the stylish performance that could raise people off their seats,' he said. 'In these kind of games, you know that you will have a fight until the last second. We've just played two teams who fight not to go down. When people look at the table, they think (you will get) six points, but we have seen that you have to work very hard to get the points.
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'We played against a team who were very well-organised. We didn't find a good pace in our game but we were serious and organised, and in the end we got the win. In the first-half we needed to be patient, and we needed Petr (Cech) once or twice. In the second-half, it was a deserved win against a team that fights not to go down. It was a typical game that you get.'