Arsene Wenger has confessed to feeling the physical and emotional strain of Arsenal's lacklustre season but says the increasing criticism from the club's fans is not personal.
Prior to their 2-0 Europa League victory over AC Milan on Thursday the Gunners had lost four consecutive games across all competitions, a disastrous run of form which saw Manchester City convincingly secure the League Cup and resign the Gunners to sixth place in the league - opening up a 13 point gap to fourth placed rivals Tottenham.
Wenger refused to play down his side's 'disastrous' form but despite increasing calls for him to step down from the helm, the Frenchman - although hurt by the criticism - acknowledged the treatment being handed to him is purely an attack on a professional level.
“It is not the person they hate. They hate the manager who does not deliver the performance. I can make that difference," he told Sky Sports.
“But I am just unhappy that we lose the games. I want to win, win with style even, so it’s very ambitious. When we don’t do it, of course I am suffering like everyone else.
Regardless if Wenger win the Europa league or not , it’s time for change ( actually some years ago). If he doesn’t leave at the end of the season , the fans are going to hate the greedy person as some fans already do.— 🔴⚪️Bosscielny⚪️🔴 (@Bosscielny0006) March 9, 2018
“Arsenal is 30 million people. It’s not the suffering of one person, you want to make 30 million people happy and that’s what you care about."
Wenger has admitted that the club's struggles have led to a lack of sleep as he is wholeheartedly invested into the club on every level and his desire to win is just as strong today as it was on his first.
He added: “I dedicated my whole life to winning football matches so when I lose I am in disastrous shape. Every manager will tell you that. When you don’t get the results, the first thing affected is the mood and the lack of sleep and the desire to find solutions.
"It's part of the job. It is surviving disappointments and finding solutions, it can make you a better manager to face crisis.
"There is no possibility not to suffer. You have to suffer. I have to stand up for what is important for the club, the results and the way we play football.”