Having been just three points behind leaders Chelsea up until two weeks ago, Arsenal’s subsequent losses to Everton and Manchester City have set them back to fourth place as City and Liverpool have raced ahead.
While in some quarters these two defeats have been viewed as the beginning of Arsenal’s almost annual capitulation when it comes to the title race, Wenger has called for calm and cited some of the other heavyweights of the league who have too had difficult periods this term.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, the French manager used the analogy of a car on a motorway to explain away the vitriol which has greeted his team since the middle of December.
“You know you do not go in the season and have no disappointment.
“We have just lost two games, of course it’s tough but City didn’t win for six, Tottenham for four or five, Manchester United as well, all the teams go through that.
“The teams who respond well together have the most successful seasons. It’s part of it. In 20 years I had very few seasons where you start on the motorway and you finish on the motorway with no car in front of you.”
In a season of 38 games it is difficult not to agree with the Gunners boss, however he knows full well the frustration that has been bubbling under the Emirates surface now for over a decade as the wait for a 14th top flight title goes on.
Despite this, Wenger says he’s ‘immune’ to any ‘excessive reactions’ in the media today.
“What people say… fortunately we live in a country where everybody has a freedom to have an opinion. And we have to respect that. But we have to live with what we want to achieve and how we want to do it.
“I’m not immune to critics. But I’m immune to excessive reaction, yes. I’ve been long enough in the job to put that into perspective as part of people who love the club that are really disappointed on Monday morning and get their frustration out. We have to live with that.
“It doesn’t mean they are not ready to change their mind if we don’t win the next game.”
Arsenal face West Brom at 3pm on Monday in a game which, if they win, could see the Gunners rise up to second depending on the result in Manchester City’s game away to Hull City.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena