Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has told the team's fans to stick together in the face of growing negativity towards them from a multitude of sources. Arsenal have seen another title bid fall flat, after only one win in four games didn't allow them to keep up against rivals Leicester City and Tottenham. Wenger said he understands the frustration from fans - as Arsenal won their last title back in 2004 - but insists critics are trying to "manipulate" them to suit their own agenda.
"Some groups of people try to manipulate our fans, and I believe apart from an agenda, a personal agenda, a big ego, there's not a lot behind it," said Wenger at a pre-match press conference on 29 April.
"This team has character and attitude. Some people question them. I know them well, and they have less character than this team have. I saw them play and I know them very closely, and they shouldn't question this team's character," he said.
"When a club cannot enjoy anything any more, it's in trouble. In football you go down very quickly and come up very slowly. We have to stick together," he added.
Wenger defended the club's overall "evolution" since their move from Highbury and said it had been wrongly overlooked. "We have to put things a little bit into perspective and see how the club's evolution has gone over the years," he said.
"It was not always easy. The quality of the work we've done at the club has got us into a strong position where expectations are very high, but we are frustrated when we don't get what we want."