I felt our fans were fantastic- Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expressed hope his side’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City will represent a turning point after an extremely testing period in the club’s recent history.
Criticism of Wenger from angry fans escalated during a run of four defeats in five Premier League games that saw the club slide out of the top four.
But while uncertainty about his future continues to linger, he hopes Sunday’s battling performance against City will help the team move on.
“Overall I felt it was a mental test and you could see the team was touched on the confidence front,” he told his post-match press conference at the Emirates Stadium.
“It will help us to rebuild confidence because the players felt that we showed some mental strength. That will help us come back to our natural fluency.
“Mathematically, for both teams it’s not the best operation. But hopefully it will help us to restart now.”
The result kept Arsenal seven points below City, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League qualifying berth, but they retain a game in hand.
Fans protested against Wenger once again before the game.
An advertising van carrying a huge poster calling for him to leave was parked near the ground, while leaflets were handed out to supporters urging them to join the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade.
But Wenger praised the supporters inside the stadium for throwing themselves behind the team.
“Despite all that happened, I felt our fans were fantastic,” said the Frenchman, whose side entertain West Ham United on Wednesday.
“In very difficult moments in the game — at 1-0 down, 2-1 down just before half-time — our fans could have turned against us.
“I think they were absolutely sensational and helped the team to get through that difficult moment.”
Arsenal fell behind in the fifth minute when Leroy Sane scuttled onto Kevin De Bruyne’s hopeful pass and rounded David Ospina to score.