Arsene Wenger SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – APRIL 24: during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Arsenal at the Stadium of Light on April 24, 2016 in Sunderland, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Things are not exactly going the way Arsenal had hoped they would this season, as the team will finish the year without a trophy after winning the FA Cup in each of the last two seasons. Now, manager Arsene Wenger is suggesting the critics in the media are to blame for fan protests. Because why not blame the media for negative reactions to your team, right?

Wenger fired a shot at his critics by suggesting they have “less character” than any member of his team, while also showing support for owner Stan Kroenke’s overall mission. With support groups for the club ready to stage a show of unity demanding some change with the club, Wenger is trying to show he understands why fans are upset while also changing the narrative.

“I can understand the frustration because no one is more frustrated than we are, but our disappointment has to not go too far,” Wenger said.

“You have to put things a little bit in perspective and see how the club’s evolution has gone over the years. I believe that it was not always easy, and the quality of the work we’ve done at the club got them today in a strong position where the expectation level is very high. And where the frustration is very high as well when we do not get what we want.”

Ah yes, a manager telling fans to put things in perspective. Find me any point in history where that attempt worked out and I’ll give you a cookie.

Wenger also blamed members of the media and their “personal agenda” for fan protests.

“There are some groups of people who try to manipulate our fans, and they do that well. I believe that apart from a personal agenda and a big ego, there is not a lot behind it. That’s what I think basically,” he said.

Of course, he didn’t name names (coughpiersmorgancough).

“I don’t know,” he said. “Honestly I don’t worry too much about that. What is interesting for me in football is the quality of the game, and the values that we want to present. This club is hugely respected and loved all over the world.”

The Gunners haven’t won the Premier League since the 2003-04 season, and haven’t even finished as high as second since 2004-05. They’ve competed in the Champions League in every season since 1998-99, but haven’t escaped the Round of 16 since 2009-10. This season, Arsenal is in fourth place in the Premier League with three matches to play, five points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United and trailing third place Manchester City on only goal differential.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.